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Sultan Qaboos bin Said - 1970-2020

Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, one of the Middle East's longest-serving rulers who maintained the country's neutrality in a volatile region, died on 10 January 2020. The 79-year-old leader's cousin Haitham bin Tariq Al Said was named as his successor in a smooth transition of power in the Gulf state.

Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said was born on the Shawwal 17 1359 AH, corresponding to 18 November 1940 of the Gregorian calendar, in Salalah in the Dhofar Governorate of the Sultanate of Oman. Sultan Qaboos is the only son of Said bin Taimur and princess Mazoon al-Mashani. He is the eighth Sultan and a direct descendant of the al bu Said dynasty, established by the Imam Ahmed bin Said in 1741 of the Gregorian callendar. He is revered and remembered in Oman as a warrior and an administrator who was able to unify Omani society and develop it into a nation. He married his cousin in 1976 although the marriage didnt last and the couple soon got divorced. Since then the Sultan has never remarried or had any children.

His Majesty the Sultan began his education in Oman, and he was then sent by his father Sultan Said bin Tamour to United Kingdom in September 1958 for further studies. He spent two years in a private School in Suffolk and joined the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy in 1960. He graduated after two years and joined the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), which was then stationed in Germany. There he spent six months as a leadership trainee.

After completing his military training within the British army in Germany, he studied local government, and completed training courses in management, and embrked on aworld wide cultural tour. He returned to Oman in 1964, then spent most of his time furthering his knowledge of Sharia law and of the history and civilisation of Oman.

With the help of British advisors, Sultan Qaboos bin Sa'id assumed power on July 23, 1970, in a palace coup directed against his father, Sa'id bin Taymur, who later died in exile in London. The new sultan was confronted with insurgency in a country plagued by endemic disease, illiteracy, and poverty. One of the new sultan's first measures was to abolish many of his father's harsh restrictions, which had caused thousands of Omanis to leave the country, and to offer amnesty to opponents of the previous regime, many of whom returned to Oman. He also established a modern government structure and launched a major development program to upgrade educational and health facilities, build a modern infrastructure, and develop the country's natural resources.

In his statement broadcast to the people of Oman on the day of his accession, he spoke of his promise to improve standards of living: "I promise to dedicate myself to the speedy establishment of a modern government in no time. My first aim will be the abolition of all unnecessary restrictions that overburdened youI will take the necessary legal steps to ensure the recognition of foreign powers and I am looking forward to the immediate support and the long-range cordial cooperation with all nations, especially with our neighbours, with whom we will conduct consultations for the future of our area."

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos laid the foundations for a comprehensive national economic, social, and cultural renaissance, and has promoted Oman regionally and internationally, thus restoring the glories of its history and the greatness of its civilization. Since coming to power on 23 July 1970 His Majesty has had a clear, precise, and well defined vision for the future of Omani society, within its regional and international context. This has been his goal in order to advance Omani society and priorities the countrys needs. It was of extreme importance to strengthen the social fabric of Omani society by preserving the heritage of the Omani civilization, this provides a stepping stone for all those efforts aimed at achieving and entrenching the spirit of solidarity and coherence, within the Omani identity.

His Majesty was able to establish a clear framework for stable sustained development, with careful thought, and a comprehensive approach to the goal of completing two main tracks: To establish a national spirit as the pillar for the building and development of all areas. this task that requires a climate of security and safety and has been achieved. To open all sectors to Omani citizens so they may carry out their role as partners in drawing and orienting the process of development. this will depend on Oman's reserves of human resources, putting trust in their capabilities, providing each citizen the opportunity to play his or her part.

His Majesty the Sultan stressed on 27th July 1970 that the " the government and the citizen act as one body that would cease to work as whole if one single organ were to fail to function". He continued by stating that the citizen is: "the axis of the hand mill round which all aims and achievements are focused and for whom various plans and programs and schedules are drawn .. This is the truth that every individual should deliver and every official should bear in mind "

As the citizen simultaneously serves as creator and target of development,his Majesty has strived to make available all resources to contribute to developing his or her capabilities, and to launch the creativity of each person in all fields, whilst stressing the very fundamental fact that "all our experiences and actions stem from our Omani existence [...... ] and are compatible with the values and traditions in our Muslim society. [....] [we] do not make any step without deep thought and total conviction ?".

This is indicative of an orientation towards mutual understanding, hence His Majesty the Sultan's eagerness to achieve the highest possible level of mutual understanding between the state's legislative and executive establishments and between the government and the private sector. "Mutual understanding and enlightened thinking serve as the starting point for the advancement of Oman and an improved service to its people'.

Enlightened thinking is one of the characteristics of His Majesty the Sultan's wise leadership, mutual understanding stems from the participation of Omani citizens, and various institutions in society, in realising the vision expressed by the His Majesty the Sultan, and translating them into plans and programs within the priorities, resources, and targets of the homeland.

Enlightened thinking is also one of the characteristics of His Majesty the Sultan's style in dealing with all issues by means of reasonable and deliberate study. This approach is what lies behind the success of the national development plans, and the huge change and tremendous progress achieved in all sectors. Enlightened thinking is one of the characteristics of His Majesty the Sultan's leadership. In addition mutual understanding stems from the participation of Omani citizen and various institutions in society in realising the vision expressed by His majesty the Sultan,as well as participating in the translation of these ideas into plan and programmes with priorities , resources, and targets of the homeland.

The great transformation of Omani society was been coupled with the building of a modern state, depending in its functioning and roles on the institutions of a modern state. Citizens are included and empowered to participate in building this modern state, on the basis of the rule of law as the foundation stone for government. This raises the citizens' resolve to make a success of their role in building the state, which helps entrench positive thinking further, and strengthens the will for participation and solidarity, and deep allegiance to the homeland and its leadership. Cooperation between the government and the private sector, and the results being achieved, is a clear expression of this.

His Majesty the Sultan has also broadened the basis of government and shura (consultation) through the role and duties of the Omani shura institutions, stemming from the Council of Oman, comprising the State Council, and the Shura Council. The shura regime and its state institutions are bolstered by a modern and independent judicial regime, aimed at achieving justice, and a feeling in society of total safety and security, such as the Omani people have enjoyed since the launch of the modern Omani Renaissance.

His Majesty the Sultan always strove to allow every opportunity for maximum use of the capabilities of the Omani people at all levels and in all sectors in order fulfil the needs and requirements of the current phase of national development. He also endeavours to achieve an atmosphase of harmonious cooperation between the goverment , the private sector, and the citizens. He seeks to strengthen and encourage the commitment of all Omani experts. His Majeasty sees their role and positive contribution the present and future and wants to see them flourish within a climate of safety and security, in this eag flourishing age of reirth , where all institutions of the state perform their roles in building the structure of Oman's modern awakening. these sam institutions protect oman's numerous achievements, and maintainin stability and security in the homeland under the rule of law.

In addition to his achievements in building the modern state, His Majesty has always respected Omani heritage and tradition. He goes on annual field tours round the country, where he meets his people face to face. He receives personal letters from them, listens to their views and suggestions, and directing government establishments to take action for their interests and security.

Alongside his achievements in creating a modern state, His, Majesty remained committed to Oman's heritage and tradition. He makes annual tours of the country to examine the state of affairs and meet his loyal people face to face in the remote regions. There he listens to their requests and views, addresses himself to their interests and security and receives personal letters, which he reads with care before deciding on appropriate courses of action.

Qaboos bin Said is an avid fan and promoter of classical music. He has 120-member orchestra which is very famous in the Middle East. The orchestra consists entirely of young Omanis who, since 1986, audition as children and grow up as members of the symphonic ensemble. The members travel along with Sultan for performance in various areas.

The sultan has eight grand palaces all equipped with modern facilities and helipads. The Sultan also possesses eight luxurious yachts one of which is the largest yacht built in Italy in the 1980s.

Sultan Qaboos hope for a civilised future for all humanity and his ambitions for Oman to play a prominent role in the world form the backdrop to his concept of modern material and human development. He desired a nation which is proud of its heritage but is always ready to reach out for new horizons. The world you have inherited is a world where fanaticism, stubbornness and law-breaking have become the norm. Violence and suppression are practised in most parts of the world and sometimes one feels driven to despair about the future of humanity. However, we believe that the day when we can defeat these wrongful practices will surely come. This is the goal which we all seek to achieve.

After 258 days, 36 weeks, or more than eight months, finally the Sultanate of Oman received the news it has waited so eagerly for. There was nationwide jubilation as His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said came home on 23 March 2015 to Oman after a successful eight-month treatment in Germany. The news was confirmed by the Diwan of Royal Court which issued a statement, saying, "Encompassed by Allah's care, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said returned to the dear homeland enjoying full health and well-being after His Majesty's successful completion of the medical programme in the Federal Republic of Germany, thanks be to Allah."

During his stay in Germany there have been rumors that his condition was life threatening. The Omani royal court has released no details about the nature of his illness over the past eight months. A diplomatic source in Muscat said the sultan was suffering from colon cancer.

In October 2011, Qaboos, who had no children or brothers, amended the process of choosing his successor. The sultan, whose closest relatives are cousins, appointed five top officials to a council that would be involved in confirming the new sultan in case of any royal family dispute.

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Page last modified: 11-01-2020 15:32:05 ZULU