In the wee hours of Friday night, January 10, not only the people of Oman but the world as a whole lost a great light, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour as he left for his eternal abode, leaving all of us in grief and sorrow. A demise that is difficult to come to terms although it marks the end of an era.
No doubt, His Majesty leaves behind a rich legacy.
A great visionary, nation builder, statesman and peacemaker, the late His Majesty was a person who lived every moment of his life with total dedication and determination for the improvement of this country and its people.
His role as a peacemaker in the region, and even in the world, received global acclaim.
“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace”, these inspiring words of Nelson Mandela are aptly attributable to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour.
He put aside everything for us, the citizens, residents and even the visitors to this country. A pragmatic visionary who, against all odds, made the improbable nation a reality.
He will be remembered for the power of his convictions.
“My people, I will proceed as quickly as possible to transform your life into a prosperous one with a bright future. Every one of you must play his part towards this goal. If we work in unity and cooperation we will regenerate our glorious past and we will take a respectable place in the world”, he said in one of his speeches after unveiling the blessed renaissance.
It was with the members of the Royal family, a small group of dedicated Omanis and expatriates, His Majesty started bringing development in all fields under the many five-year plans.
“Through the implementation of a succession of national development plans we have successfully completed laying the foundations of a modern state and will continue to build on this achievement; improving living standards and implementing programmes which aim to boost economic growth through the diversification of sources of national income and the development of human resource”, he said.
His Majesty’s self-belief and devotion was intense and absolute: “Our determination to move forward with confidence, towards the broader horizons of comprehensive, sustainable development, remains undiminished. While committed to preserving our own values and identity, we are enthusiastic about developing international relations to reinforce the advances already made”.
He always emphasised on human development: “Further progress, we believe, can best be achieved through hard work and the pursuit of knowledge, which will prepare Oman and its citizens for dealing with the emerging realities of the modern age”.
During his half-century reign, he thoroughly modernised Oman and forged a broader role as a go-between in regional and international crises.
Although the demise of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour saddened everyone who knew him, it has been heartening to see a smooth and peaceful transition in the country.
His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tareq bin Taimour was sworn in just hours after the announcement of death of His Majesty.
In his first speech, His Majesty Sultan Haitham pledged to follow the path laid by his predecessor. The non-interference policy that made Oman an important regional mediator in various political and social issues.
As an Omani citizen put it, “This is the best tribute to the legacy of late Sultan Qaboos. The sun will be as same as it has been. It will continue to give the light with the same strength. The respect and appreciation that the country received will continue to prevail under the new regime”.
No doubt, Oman’s desire for peace and stability and His Majesty Sultan Haitham’s proximity to the decision-making process in the past will enable him to continue and adopt policies that will take the country to the helms.