His Majesty’s Vision
I have always made sure that I do not miss any of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s speeches, not only because of their content but more so because of the aura, determination, clarity and advice that he imparts to his nationals.
This year’s opening of Majlis Oman was so remarkable, inspiring and yet at the same time very down to earth. His Majesty’s countenance was that of a leader, a father, a brother all in one, giving his all for the benefit of Oman.
This year’s annual speech dealt with issues such as the importance of the private sector and its role in the development of the welfare of Omanis, as well as the country’s well-being.
The private sector is the cornerstone of any economy because no government in the world can employ every national or develop every nook and cranny of a country. Call it capitalism, socialism or what you may but the fact is plain. Unless a highly developed private sector is encouraged, assisted and given all the wherewithal to expand there will always be a vacuum and the social stratification will get wider and the flight of wealth will accelerate as there will be no effective, educated middle class to help the government develop its projects. The private sector leads to more people being employed and wealth shared by all.
Another aspect of His Majesty’s speech is his address to the youth. They are the future of Oman and unless they are well placed educationally, economically and socially there will be a dearth of good leaders that the government can depend on in the future. The youth should grasp each and every opportunity given to them to improve their lot in all walks of life. They are themselves to develop, produce and reap the benefits of their participation in the development of their country which is tied intrinsically to their own personal development and their personal well-being. Being lazy, irresponsible and not committed will only serve to relegate them to be non-performers and ineffective members of society.
Leading from the youth His Majesty admirably noted the importance of education to meet the market’s needs. Not everyone is academically gifted but many are gifted in other ways - using their hands and crafting, designing, and creating to deliver on society’s needs - eg technicians, farmers, craftworkers etc. We should as a society encourage our youth to be so inclined. Not all want, can or are capable of going to university to come out as graduates. Practical and theoretical education are all part and parcel of a developed society. Each to his own and we should avail all possible hands to encourage all not just those who are academically clever, brainy or had the luck to be graduates.
All in all from the beginning of His Majesty’s speech invoking Allah’s help and reminding us of where we are now and what has been achieved in the past 42 years, there was not a second when I could take off my eyes off our gracious leader. May Allah bless him with a long, healthy life to continue to lead us to further pinnacles of success in our personal and public lives for these are intertwined.
Your Majesty, you are our leader, we are and will always be your subjects, loyal and ready to do whatever is needed to reach those pinnacles of success. You projected Oman from the abyss of backwardness into a highly modernised country with all necessities of life eg health, education and housing. Not even the most advanced countries in the West have such facilities at all levels of society. Oman’s voice is widely respected and listened by all because His Majesty kept his promise when he assumed the reins of powers in 1970.
Raya al Kharusi is a mother, grandmother, world affairs spectator and human resources consultant. She graduated with a Master of Arts degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 1971