By Taha Sakr
“Omani people … I will work as quickly as possible to make you live happy in a better future … Each of you must help in this duty …. Our country was in the past famous and powerful, and if we work in unity and cooperation, we will restore our past again and reach the prestigious place in Arab world”.
Through the aforementioned words, Late Sultan Qaboos bin Said addressed the Omani people in his first speech after he assumed the throne of the Sultanate on July 2, 1970.
From this date until his death, last January, Qaboos has been working to fulfill this promise of massive reforms and achievements in various political, economic, military, social and cultural fields.
For 50 years, Late Qaboos has been the founder of the renaissance of Oman, his rule is characterized by wisdom and resulted in a balanced policy that is rarely present in the world.
Sultan Qaboos was born on November 18, 1940, in Salalah as the the only son of Sultan Saeed bin Taimur bin Faisal Al Said, he received primary and secondary education lessons in Salalah, and in September 1958 his father sent him to the United Kingdom where he continued his education in a private school.
In 1960, he joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he spent two years in it, which is the prescribed period for training, there he studied military science and graduated with the rank of second lieutenant, then joined a battalion operating in the Federal Republic of Germany at the time for 6 months during which he practiced military.
After that he returned to the United Kingdom where he received training in management style in the local government, he also completed specialized courses in administration and state organization affairs.
Then, he made a 3-month tour around the world during which he visited many countries the world
After returning to his country, he deepened for six consecutive years in the study of the Islamic religion, and everything related to Oman’s history, civilization and people throughout the ages.
This study left a great impact in expanding awareness of his responsibilities and granted him the opportunity to read many political and philosophical ideas of many Thinkers who shaped world thought.
Sultan Qaboos had wide interests, as this was demonstrated in his great and continuous support for many cultural projects locally and internationally, whether through UNESCO or other regional and international organizations.
Moreover, Sultan Qaboos was interested in pushing Oman to an advanced state of contemporarily while preserving the traditional Omani originality, so that it does not lose its identity, and in this context Qaboos’s interest in culture was the most prominent thing, which left its visible effects in Oman, thanks to his decision , Oman established the Sultan Qaboos University.
Among the most prominent of these projects, to name a few, the Sultan Qaboos Encyclopedia of Arabic Names as well as some projects of Al-Azhar University, the Gulf University and a number of Arab and international universities and scientific centers, in addition to the Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation, which is provided every two years through UNESCO.
Qaboos transferred Oman from the traditional tribal rule to the systemic democratic rule, by establishing the state’s advisory council, and after several years he replaced it with the Shura Council, whose members represent all regions.
The Shura council is an advisory entity supervised by a higher executive body known as the Oman Council.