A nation that lives its youth without flexing muscles, a nation that leaps to its great future without any sloganeering. That is Oman, which celebrates its 51st National Day on November 18.
A country that shares a tradition dating back to the pre-historic period, it withstood the ravages of time and the invaders to emerge a new-age force with a vision and a mission to guide the world of tomorrow.
When the nation comes together to celebrate the occasion, it will be a display of the heritage, tradition and modernity of the country that has a highly spirited cultural landscape. With the music, songs, costumes, folk performances and much more, the country will be the focus point of the Arab region on that day, of course without any public gathering.
Oman is a nation that loves the brightness of life, as reflected in the Omani flag. To commemorate the National Day, every street of the country would be bathed in white, red and green lights, which are the colours of Omani national flag, thus reflecting the national sentiments. The streets will reflect the vivacity of the young nation known for its warmth, the power of mediation, topographic variety and biodiversity.
From Arabian horses and dromedaries to the country’s national animal Oryx antelope and green turtles, and then the plant varieties including the date palms and frankincense trees, Oman is not just a nation; it is a destination with the potential to attract the world to its fold. From diplomacy to tourism, the emerging nation has a prominent space everywhere. In this perspective, the celebrations like National Day help highlight the country’s accomplishments before the world.
This time, His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, will preside over the military parade, which is part of the celebration.
As we all know, the National Day commemorates the birthday of the late Sultan Qaboos, who is the architect of the modern Oman. His majesty began the journey of transformation from an underdeveloped country to a modern State by empowering the citizens and developing the nation with a futuristic vision and goal.
From a country that lacked behind in everything including roads, schools, hospitals and other facilities in 1970s, today it is an epitome of will power and planning thus overcoming the adversities.
The Sultan knew young generation is the asset of the nation and they should be groomed. In addition, he strategically utilized the oil revenue to build the nation with a stronger economical foothold and it has started showing the results.
He had a citizen-centric approach that is being taken forward by his successor, which has started showing its impact globally, thus placing the nation on a higher pedestal.
This history answers as to why the people and commercial establishments heartily become part of the celebration and adorn the walls and other places with light and the photographs of Sultan Qaboos and his famous quotes.
His words had a vision and philosophy that reflected the concern for the humanity and believed that the suppression of ideas and thought is a major sin. Oman would never allow anyone to stifle freedom of thought, he said once. He was equally against any kind of extremism, fanaticism and factionalism. Sultan Qaboos was also among the first ones to tell as to how we have gravely neglected the vital necessity of conserving the environment and natural resources due to the lack of collective co-ordination.
That is the reason why Oman celebrates the National Day to commemorate his birthday.
On this occasion, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik has issued a special Royal pardon for 252 prisoners, including 84 foreigners, which also reflect a humanitarian mindset.
However, this time, the public gathering will be minimal to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and cancelled the National Day celebrations in all schools of the Sultanate. Special public events have also been prohibited, according to the authorities. However, that would not dampen the spirit of celebration, which upholds the vision of the nation that lives its future.