Today many countries all over the world are losing their heritage. It is a big loss for any nation.
Rich heritage is facing danger from ill-organised developments. Rapid urbanisation is wiping out some aspects of heritage and cultural monuments.
As seen in some neighbouring countries, where cities are undergoing a facelift, the original identity of the place no more exists. For such kind of changes, nations are sacrificing their heritage.
However, in Oman, things are different. The government is very strict when it comes to preserving its culture and heritage. It is making every possible effort to preserve natural treasures and heritage.
There is no legacy so rich as heritage and culture. Our ancestors were here first. What they did is of great significance for both the present and future generations.
Our current heritage is our ancestors’ history, today’s treasure and future legacy.
It is the mission of the new generation to preserve it as part of our identity. Afterwards, it will be passed on to the next generations to observe and pass it on to the upcoming generations.
This story goes on. The history and heritage will be lost if they are not carefully monitored and preserved for the future generations.
As the saying goes, “Speaking rocks is the wonder of our country; preserve it for our offspring”.
The Sultanate is sparing no effort to preserve the national culture and heritage of all forms for the next generations. The Ministry of Heritage and Culture, for example, is striving to document and protect the archaeological and historical sites in every corner of the country.
The ministry has been working on the documentation of thousands of historical sites in different parts of Oman. This is a commendable and honourable effort indeed and a great step towards preserving different forms of Omani heritage.
The ministry has also announced a couple of times that it is working on restoring a number of historical residential clusters in different governorates.
As well, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture is having a number of archaeological sites and landmarks included on the Unesco World Heritage List.
In fact, all of these are a testimony to the efforts made by the ministry towards protecting the rich heritage of Oman and recording its history through careful listing, documentation, analysis and conservation.
The list comprises various historical and natural landmarks while there are other sites on the tentative list.
Hopefully, all these historical sites and landmarks will get acknowledged and classified as World Heritage Sites too.
The credit undoubtedly goes to the nation and its people for appreciating and preserving the natural and archaeological treasures in their blessed land.
On the other hand, preserving national heritage is not just the concern of the government. As individuals, we should also shoulder the responsibility and play a role to helping protect our culture, heritage and history.
Sharing the real Omani traditions and history with our offspring is part of preserving the culture and passing it to the new generations. For instance, preserving old national records that some people have is another form of preserving the heritage.
The right way of protecting such records is by sharing copies with the National Records and Archive Authority, which is responsible of maintaining all types of national records.
We all are responsible for preserving all forms of Omani heritage, culture and history along with the authorities concerned.
Abdulaziz Al Jahdhami