For Sunday – October 20th 2013.
Between Us Only!
The Omani Way!
Or Why I Like Our Omani Foreign Policies
See Previous Similar –
In A Simpler Way To Explain Things!
A – The Eid Prayers – The Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs said that Al Adha Day is a day of proving the strength of belief and persistence. He added that Islam, as indicated in the Quran, is an invitation for good deed in will and woe. In will days we are required to thank Allah and in woe days we are required to be patient and trust Allah. He also said that many countries are suffering from hardships which make them feel despair and disappointed. Allah reminds us to be patient and trust Allah’s victory at the end.
He also said that the hardships suffered by nations are tests for both believers and non-believers. He stressed the fact that when prosperity is replaced with agony, prosperity may be restored again with right deeds and strong belief in Allah.
He added that a Muslim should neither feel frightened of the world or frighten the world. He is rather supposed to promote prosperity, peace and mercy. At the end of the Khutbah, Shaikh Al Salmy appealed to Allah to continue blessings on Oman, to make us true Muslims and remain strong believers in Allah in will and woe.
He also appealed to Allah to guide and safeguard His Majesty the Sultan and grant him success and make Oman the country of security, safety, peace and tranquility. He also appealed to Allah to protect us against envious people and mutiny and bless all Muslim countries.
B – The Omani Way of Doing Things – Some time back I was stuck in a traffic jam with my then American CEO – and we saw these two Diplomatic Delegations pass in front of us in the traffic queue. So he turned to me and asked – Do you know who is visiting? And teasingly he remarked – I am sure Oman is arranging on the sidelines – quietly and diplomatically – for these two to meet – as they hardly ever talk to each other – even through intermediaries. Next day we found in the papers that his information was correct – and about the delegations. A few months later there was a big coverage press release news of some people arrested of being released – and their journey to their homeland passing through Oman! His casual remark that it was only Oman that can do such miracle acts came to pass and in reality!
When I was working in one of the GCC countries, I had met many locals there who had confided to me that ‘they have a lot of time and respects’ for us in Oman – and how we do conduct our businesses – especially in Foreign Affairs! Dual respects and non intervention in others internal affairs – and remaining International Compliance in Foreign Affairs!
In my job aspects there – I had met many expatriates ex Oman working – and though some of them were receiving very high packages, benefits and perks that they possibly could not get in Oman – I know because I was in HR! One of the most fundamental thing that they missed the most were ‘the Omanis’ – and how hospitable, kind, respecting and esteeming they were to the ‘invited guests’ to the country – and nothing in comparison – even to those near us!
In my first article in my first book – I had written of how I got my first job in one of the GCC countries. As I was being interviewed for the job – the CEO barged in asking some questions to the Recruiting Panel. He saw me in my Omani attire – and was asking if it was about the HR job. When they replied affirmatively – he said Stop the Interview now.
Used to hearing bad news all the time – I imagined the worst – and was starting to get angry. The panel came back to me to say – Congratulations! You got the job. The CEO does not want any further interviewing of you to continue. It seemed that the CEO was visiting Salalah – got lost and he approached a local Bedouin family in the Interior who were just about to have lunch. They insisted for them to have lunch together with them. Only then they took them to the highway – and after a few kilometers showed them the way to Salalah.
It gnawed deeply on the mind of The CEO – what he could do to repay this kind gesture of hospitality and gesture. Luckily for me I was in my Omani attire – and the presentation of self for the interview as such – worked greatly in my favour – and had also quenched the desire of the CEO for ‘pay back’ – and as best as he could. There was a candidate there from another Arab country – who was more qualified and educated than me – and would have most possibly have got the job – if the CEO had not intervened! I was told this by the Panel – and begging me ‘not to tell the CEO!
In one of the lifts in the place – there was this European lady who had dropped her files as she was rushing to the lift! As I was bending to help her – my peers were sarcastically remarking things – when the woman turned facing them – and replying in impleccable Arabic – that it shows in his attire – which looks a bit different! Then she remarked very nice things about Oman. I am not sure if she got what she was looking for in her planned presentation – but it would surprise me if she did not!
In Waterloo Railway Station in UK – I heard my name being called out! I was wondering to myself who is it that knows me here? And then an old work colleague – a British guy – introduced himself. He insisted to take me home for dinner – but I resisted. He too missed Oman very much. He said to me – I went to many countries after Oman – but frankly and honestly – Oman was the best place we had really enjoyed staying with! Our best time was spent there!
When my wife joined me in UK – we went to the countryside in UK. Our banger Morris Minor 1300 got stuck in one of the mud puddles. I was contemplating to call the AAA when this kind farmer came with his tractor and pulled me out! When I was thanking him profusely – he asked me where I came from – after me telling him and his seeing that I was a ‘foreign student’! When I told him from Oman – he refused to let me go till we had some tea and scones in his farm house. He worked in the Oman army before as an Instructor!
I – as an Omani loyal citizen – was very proud of His Majesty visit to Iran. At a time when all the Arab states had boycotted Anwar Sadat – Oman was the few countries that had stood out for talking and diplomacy as the way to solve our worldly problems – especially in relations between countries. From the Renaissance to this very day – and to future – Oman will remain as the beacon and the torch bearer as the best example and illustration of ‘quiet working diplomacy’ – and the correct ethical way of solving world’s problems.
Use of threats, boycotts and the language of wars only makes a bad situation turn even worse – as many examples of history! It is said – If the lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teach us!
May Allah Protect and Preserve our beloved Nation – and Give His Majesty Long Life and Health – Amin.
By Majid Al Suleimany