The visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to Egypt on Sunday will not only further boost ties in political and economic spheres but is also significantly important for people-to-people contact. The historical relations between the Sultanate of Oman and Egypt go back 3,500 years.
With both Oman and Egypt supporting stability and peace in the Middle East and the wider world, Egypt has played a fundamental role, especially in the Palestinian issue and other Arab causes and the meeting between the leaders of the brotherly nations is expected to strengthen relations manifold.
Egypt has been the platform that brings the Arab nation together. Its role is recognised and the unique relationship between Oman and Egypt has been nurtured since the 1970s when education was a top priority.
In the early 70s, as the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said set the vision for the renaissance march, Egyptians played a big role.
Abdullah bin Nassser al Rahbi, Ambassador of Oman to Egypt and its Permanent Representative to the Arab League, said the two countries share common principles, including non-interference in the affairs of others, paying attention for the regional security and stability and playing an important role in this aspect.
"Oman and Egypt celebrated last November, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between them whose period witnessed events that underlined the depth and strength of this relation. The two countries share common principles, including non-interference in the affairs of others, paying attention for the regional security and stability and playing an important role in this aspect," he said.
According to businessman Yousuf al Shidhany, many Omanis learnt from Egyptian teachers. “They played a big role in different fields, but more so in education. Egyptian teachers played a big role at all levels of education. This is in addition to their expertise in different areas as they worked alongside Omanis in both the government and private sector,” he said.
"Now is the time to explore more areas that will benefit both countries and their peoples. It is time to look at opportunities for Omanis to invest in Egypt due to population and Africa areas connection. The visit of His Majesty the Sultan will pave the way for that," he added.
In January 2020 when Sultan Qaboos passed away, President Sisi declared three days of mourning. Egypt’s House of Representatives also declared an official mourning period with flags at half-mast for three days in honour of the deceased sultan.
Under the late Sultan Qaboos, relations between the two countries continued to evolve, both seeking further cooperation and development. His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik is currently pursuing the same policy to consolidate relations.
Independent business consultant Khalfan al Tauqi is grateful for all that he learnt from his Egyptian teachers. “The Egyptians came in groups – the first one comprising teachers, followed by medical professionals. They went to all parts of the Sultanate of Oman; not only cities but villages and remote places, too, to help people and to be by their side.” Tauqi described the Egyptians as highly qualified in many professions including medicine, engineering and law. “We love their expertise. We Omanis also prefer to go to Egypt for our higher studies,” he added.
Tauqi informed that business contacts are expanding between the two countries. “Egypt is like a reference point for many Omanis in many fields and professions. Many Omanis who finished elementary and primary education in Egypt continue to have very good relations with the country,” he said.
Salalah-based entrepreneur Ahmed Barham said, "Egyptians have had a positive impact on Omanis, particularly in the education sector, from way back in the 1970s to 1990s because during this period, there were no Omani teachers. Many of the teachers were from Egypt as in the case with other professions." "Egypt is the pillar of Arab world and it was good move for Oman to resort to Egypt for its manpower needs when Oman was in the early years of the rennaisance," he added.
Barham said there are a lot of opportunities there that can increase income for Oman and create more cooperation between the two countries.