The leader who taught us what simplicity is

MUSCAT, JAN 13 – More than a ruler, His Majesty has always shared a tip or two of life with his fellow beings. This has equally been felt by expatriates from across the globe who chose Oman to be their home away from home. “He is the man who taught us what simplicity is all about and how one can make the world a better place to live in with his own actions,” says Maggie Jeans, author and former education officer at SQU.
“When we first arrived in Oman in the late 80’s it was impossible to enter without an NOC (No Objection Certificate) and there was no concept of tourism. The only way of getting to many places in the interior was via unmade roads [rough tracks] where now there are dual carriageways. Camping was the only option for an overnight stay where now there are hotels. There was only the new Sultan Qaboos University, where now there are over a 100 colleges and universities. There were fewer cars on the road so journeys took less time and parking was always easy. All what we see around are because of a farsighted statesman who taught us being humble.”
Professor Gillian White from New Zealand who was an Educational Consultant at the Directorate-General of Education and Training, Ministry of Health, feels Oman is her second home and the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said one of her heroes.
“Through his vision, wisdom and leadership Oman was transformed into a well-educated and thriving, peaceful country. I called him a benevolent ruler and in the nicest possible way he was a loving but firm father who dictated our boundaries so that we not only felt safe but free. As an expat I am proud to have contributed to the building of capabilities and capacity for Omanis in health, education and research under His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. I will never forget this inspiring man.”
Mohammed Aleem Anis, Electrical Engineer with the Central Bank of Oman, feels he has been very lucky to have witnessed the progress and development of this country under the tutelage of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
“When I stepped into Oman on April 11, 1975, the country was in its early stages of its development. There was only a single lane road, a few buildings and no shopping malls. There was a rapid change in Oman and today there is a huge network of roads with facilities for education and healthcare. I proudly consider Oman my second homeland and hope His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tareq bin Taimour will carry on the legacy and wisdom of his predecessor,” said Mohammed.
Hemendra Sampat, a businessman, came to Oman in December 1976 in an Akbari ship vessel from Bombay via Karachi. It took 4 days to reach Oman.
I landed a sales job in Al Kayyali and Al Khalili building materials company in Wadi Kabir for a monthly salary of
RO 70. Bachelor accommodation was given in Old Muscat. Our mode of transport was in open style single cabin pickup car which was run as taxis. There was no regular electric supply and electricity was provided via generator only 4hrs/day. Limited water was supplied by local water tankers and we used to fill from wells in jerry cans for daily use. Oman has made tremendous progress in 43 years under the reign of our beloved leader and I am glad to be a part of the journey,” Hemendra said.
Azra Begum, a social worker and former director at the Pakistan Social Club Oman, cherishes her memories under the inspiring leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
“I came to Oman about three decades ago. What I love about the country is its beautiful mountains, wadis and beaches. The country progressed over a period of time to what it is today, thanks to the farsightedness of His Majesty. There are now many roads, places for people’s amusement and remarkable sanitation throughout the country. At the same time, the country has maintained its cultural traditions and heritage. I pray that Oman continues to flourish under the patronage of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tareq bin Taimour.”