Tuesday, January 18, 2022


51 years, 20 cheers

By Nishad Padiyarath


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Fifty years is nothing in history, they say. In the long tale of the evolution of this world it is not even a ‘wink of an eye’. But Oman, which turns 51 this year, has achieved a lot in such a short span of time, emerging as a dream destination for many, not just as a tourist spot or a holiday retreat but as their choice home and workplace as well. This is nothing but history.

Oman is the place where one can live, work and enjoy life to the fullest in all its serenity and vibrancy. This is the nation that has written success stories in five decades, not just in terms of infrastructure but also as a modern state capable of mediating in many regional as well as international issues by adopting a moderate foreign policy, which were not simple to achieve.

Oman — A nation that touches the heart

My life in Oman is as old as half of its history and I am a witness to its amazing progress under the guidance of the Late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the present ruler, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, the leaders who placed the nation on a high pedestal. Now the world knows Oman as a nation that touches the heart.

It is this incredible tale of determination and strategic planning of the country’s leadership that made The Arabian Stories (TAS) profile the icons of the nation in a big way, as TAS ICONS, thus celebrating and honouring their contribution towards building this country.

Here we have selected 20 icons cutting across nationality, gender and generation, recognising their role in different areas, especially when the world is passing through a tough time following the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is the second edition of TAS ICONS, and we are releasing it at a time when the world is coming out of the clutches of the pandemic and Oman stands as a successful example of preventing the spread of the disease through well-coordinated vaccination drives and effective lockdown measures. Here we should also applaud the frontline Covid warriors who made sure life is no way affected and provided all medical and healthcare support and also other facilities to society as a whole, thus complementing the visions of Oman’s leadership that is the beacon of the nation in its journey to future.

This was also the year when floods and cyclones hit Oman, and here again, with strategic planning and farsighted vision, the country prevented them from wreaking havoc and withstood the aftermath with great will-power.

Journey to future

It is this planning and vision that fuel the nation’s forward journey. It has a clear-cut policy to achieve the goals as envisaged in its Vision 2040, which would be a milestone in the country’s achievement in strengthening its economic power, creating more employment thus benefiting the citizens as well as expatriates and also becoming a global power, especially as a mediator in many thorny regional and global issues.

The world is changing. The oil-based economy is changing. The gender equations are changing. And, of course, our vision about future is also changing. Oman is leading this change on every front — from education to healthcare and from infrastructure to enterprises. Here we witness women coming to the forefront of society as change-makers and the leadership of the nation encourages their role and appreciates their contribution.

It is against this backdrop of great achievement Oman has made as a young nation that we are releasing the second edition of TAS ICONS, which is the result of exhaustive homework and research.

This is not merely the profiles of a few people. Through their lives and works, which would be inspiring for generations to come as well, we are also chronicling the story of a nation that began from scratches just five decades back. We are with the nation in all its strides to prosperity and we are sure you would feel it here in this brief document of a vivacious history.