Muscat: The Omani Journalists Association (OJA) has completed its preparations to host meetings of the Permanent Office of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the founding meeting of the Asia Journalists Association (AJA) from March 16-20. As many as 60 media personnel, including heads of journalism unions, syndicates and associations from 20 countries, will take part in the meetings.
The Sultanate’s hosting of the meeting, as represented by OJA, stems from the role undertaken by OJA in promoting media and journalism. It also reflects OJA’s leading role as one of the most active journalist associations at Arab and international levels. In addition, it reflects the appreciation of global journalism and media institutions for the Sultanate’s stature as an advocate, sponsor and supporter of peace and global dialogue—thanks to Oman’s constant efforts in resolving many international issues.
Dr Mohammed bin Mubarak al Araimi, OJA Chairman, stressed the importance of this international journalism and media gathering in the Sultanate. He said that Oman was short-listed and eventually awarded an opportunity to host this meeting after competition with many member states of the IFJ. The run-up was held on the sidelines of the IFJ General Assembly’s meeting, which was hosted by Tunisia last year. The hosting proposal file, presented by OJA, won the approval of all IFJ member states. It also represents an appreciation to the position of the Sultanate and OJA, which perceived the hosting of the general assembly meetings as an important move that deserves to be supported due to its role in supporting trends of the IFJ and upgrading its mission to achieve the prospective goals.
Speaking about the significance of holding the AJA founding meeting, OJA Chairman said, “Following OJA’s keenness to form an Asian federation for journalists combing all Asian press under one schema similar to continental press federations in Europe, America and Africa, OJA presented this proposal on the sidelines of the meetings of the IFJ General Assembly in Tunisia. The proposal, drafted with the participation of the National Union of Journalists of India, reiterated the importance of forming the Asia Journalists Association. The proposal received approval from journal unions, federations and associations. It was unanimously agreed that the Sultanate to host the founding meeting of the AJA, which represents an important step credited to the OJA efforts in hosting this meeting, which will be under the Sultanate’s name”.
Al Araimi pointed out that OJA’s hosting of the AJA founding meeting and IFJ Permanent Office will be an opportunity for Omani journalists and personnel to exchange views with top Arab and international media figures. He added that the upcoming conference will also highlight the progress made by the Omani state and its achievements at regional and international levels. It will also be an opportunity for participants to have a close look at Oman’s renaissance and the development it brought about in various media, economic and cultural spheres, notably under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik.
Al Araimi elaborated, “OJA’s hosting of the founding meetings aims to benefit from international programmes which will be adopted by the Asian federation in its quest to groom journalists and media personnel and help share expertise, visits and meetings. Other benefits include the federation’s highlighting the Sultanate—its media, economic and investment potentials—through visits of Asian press delegations. This is in addition to benefiting from Asian expertise, such as China, Japan, India, Korea and Malaysia in various media fields. The meeting will explore paths of cooperation between OJA and all Asian press unions and federations”.
OJA Chairman also pointed out that the Association will organize many visits and meetings from the participating members with the aim to acquaint them with the major economic landmarks and tourist attractions in the Governorate of Muscat. OJA will also organize a forum for Omani journalists and media persons with the objective of exchanging views on many topics of concern to the march of journalism and media between press institutions in the Sultanate and the participating press unions.
Al Araimi added that the generous care, enjoyed by OJA from the late Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, has contributed to achieving many outcomes and prospective goals represented in the presence of institutional association capable of being present and actively participate in all local and international media extravaganzas, in addition to adopting training projects and programmes, media exhibitions and journal fora that contributed in upgrading OJA programmes, enhancing its message and highlighting the Sultanate’s achievements in many countries of the globe.
Al Araimi affirmed that OJA has become today one of the important associations, not only at the Sultanate’s level, but also at the Arab and international levels. This has been realized due to the constant efforts exerted by the previous boards in a span of 15 years. Such efforts have established a firm base in all Arab and international journal associations. He also underscored the constant support extended to the Association by its members and their keenness to upgrade OJA.
Al Araimi valued the role undertaken by various public and private institutions in supporting OJA programmes. He affirmed that the OJA Board of Directors seeks to be present in international forums and continental unions, as well as responding to all issues and topics of concern to the future of journalism and media. –ONA