‘Living here, I’ve felt we’re among family’, one expat reflects the feelings of many who have come to Oman and found a home.
Words: Alvin Thomas and Hasan al Lawati
Indian national Rajan Cheruvathoor came to the Sultanate to work at a garage in the Wilayat of Dhofar, when he was 29.
A few months later he moved to Muscat, and it has been his home away from home for the last 28 years (!)
“Living here, I’ve felt like we are among family,” says Rajan, who now owns three restaurants in the city.
“I do have a kinship with our Omani brothers here. They have made me and my family feel like part of the country. We enjoy all the festivities just like they do, because we feel just as close to this land as they do.”
“I came to Oman looking for work; things weren’t so easy back in Kerala. I didn’t know that I was going to spend the rest of my life here.”
His three children were born in Oman. “My eldest is now in college, back in Kerala, but he finds it tough living there –he is not used to the life there and wants to come back to Oman.”
“That’s how much we are attached to Oman –our home,” he tells.
And, this is just one among an umpteen number of stories of people, who now see Oman as their home.
This also falls in line with His Majesty’s vision to make the Sultanate a country where everyone can reside in peace and harmony.
But that was not all.
Forty-seven years ago, His Majesty the Sultan made a solemn pledge to his people: a promise to transform Oman, a promise to secure a bright future for the nation, and to work for the progress of the nation.
These are the assurances that set into motion a saga – one that we continue to enjoy –today, thereby scripting the various success stories of His Majesty.
Addressing the nation with love and benevolence, on the 23rd of July, more than four decades ago, His Majesty said these words: “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.
“Our country in the past was famous and strong. If we work in unity and cooperation we will regenerate that glorious past and we will take a respectable place in the world.
“I call upon you to continue living as usual. I will be arriving in Muscat in the coming days and then I will let you know of my future plans.
“My people, I and my new government will work to achieve our general objective.
“My people, my brothers, yesterday it was complete darkness and with the help of God, tomorrow will be a new dawn on Muscat, Oman and its people.
“God bless us all and may He grant our efforts success.”
Not only did this mark the ascension of a new leader, 47 years later, we still continue to adulate this very great leader, who put aside everything for us, the residents, of what we call today – The Sultanate of Oman.
However, “The Light of Oman” – as His Majesty is fondly called by many – has had his fair share of struggles after his ascension to the throne. It is easy to forget that in the first years of his reign, a rebellion in the south posed a serious threat to the unity and peace of the country and only after several years was stability achieved.
But, ministers, businessmen, sports stars, doctors, pilots and people from all corners of the sphere, alike, have only one thing to say: “Long live His Majesty Sultan Qaboos”.
Talal al Rahbi
Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Planning and General Coordinator for “Tanfeedh”.
It is a great honour and privilege for me on this great occasion of July 23 (the Renaissance Day), to send His Majesty and the people of Oman – both the citizens and residents – my greetings for celebrating
I would like to wish His Majesty good health and happiness. July 23 marked the emergence of a new era in Oman: an era of great transformation, prosperity and continuous growth.
The philosophy and wisdom of HM are manifested in all corners of Oman; this is realised by all who live or even visit the Sultanate. I can be confident in saying that both Omanis and non-Omanis living here share the respect and admiration for HM.
Due to his wise leadership, Oman celebrates the anniversary of July 23 while being safe and stable in a very volatile region. Also, Oman continues to grow and flourish in all levels of development.
As we move firmly towards the 50th anniversary of the Renaissance – in just three years’ time, I wish Oman continues its growth and prosperity, and also wish HM a long life and good health.
Despite all challenges, Oman is showing a growth in the economy. We are also moving ahead to realise all our plans leading to the 50th Anniversary, and I hope Oman reaches the goals and targets as set by vision 2020 and the 9th Five-year plan.
As Oman successfully completed countless number of projects and investments, we see more mega projects to ensure the country’s further growth and transformation. These plans and projects are pushing further towards a stronger economy, stability and prosperity for all in Oman.
Jamil Ali Sultan, Member of the Board of Partners, Towell Group of Companies
Soon, we will all be celebrating Oman’s Renaissance Day; a day of pride for all Omanis. Since this day, Oman has prospered in various fields, developing the country’s infrastructure and its citizens. These are the foundations that have been laid by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos.
It is our duty as citizens and as private sector representatives to preserve the blessings that God has given us, and to work with great earnestness to boost the growth of the national economy by bringing foreign investment to the country and establishing projects that serve the national interests while creating decent work opportunities for our citizens.
On this occasion, I am honoured to convey to His Majesty and to the citizens of Oman my highest congratulations and greetings, and I am praying to God the Almighty for the return of this happy occasion for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for many years to come, with a wealth of blessings and well-being.
Her Highness Sayyida Basma al Said
Owner of Whispers of Serenity Clinic, Oman.
What I love the most about Oman is that it is so peaceful. God really has blessed us with a wonderful leader, who we can look up to and admire. And there’s no denying that he is the driving force of our country.
As we all know, we are also truly lucky to be politically stable, especially given the current state of our region. And I have to say we really commend His Majesty for his support.
Many people tell me that the people in Oman are so helpful and kind. Also, adding to that charm is that we have beautiful landscapes all the way from Musandam to Salalah.
I must point out that we currently have Omani women fulfilling every role in society. I think for me, as a woman, I have a big responsibility. People trust us, and I believe that when we are given the trust of someone, the sky really is the limit.
Now is the time for us all to move forward, and not ask for more. His Majesty has given us women all the support and opportunity to do our best, and more, here in Oman.
And over the years, we have definitely fulfilled big roles (doctors, engineers, businesswomen, etc.). But, now is the time for us to step up and take on harder roles. Only then will we be able to set an example for women in our society.
Abdul Qader al Bulushi
Former general manager of Al Yusr Islamic Banking, Oman Arab Bank
Oman is my country; so of course, my opinion may seem a bit one-sided. But, I have resided in many other countries, and I have to say that there is no other country that maintains its natural beauty as does the Sultanate.
And the reason for that is His Majesty’s continuous support in keeping the landscape of Oman untouched. He has never rushed towards rapid development of infrastructure, and therefore, our country remains one of the hidden gems of the Middle East.
This is also one of the reasons many tourists head here for vacations. Many have started to realise that life is not just about tall and fancy buildings and malls; we need to have our share of nature too.
Also, as we all know that prior to His Majesty taking charge, 47 years ago, there was very little in the line of development. However, if anyone left the country for long and came back after all these years, they would be shocked to see a miracle of change.
Everything from businesses, to the education system here has been re-written to a whole new level, now. That is nothing short of a miracle.
But now that we have reached such a level, I would like to urge our society to begin investing more in business activities. The government already supports us in many ways but I am sure that in the coming years, more encouragement will come for young Omani entrepreneurs to take over, too.
As we enter another blissful year, I just have one thing to tell everyone: this is our country, so let us live and build it.
General Manager, seaPearls Gold & Diamond Jewellery, Oman
Oman has been a part of my life from the day I came here. I am an expatriate hailing from India; but over the years, Oman has become my second home.
The people of Oman are the most hospitable people in the world: they are very warm and welcoming in general. Through my years in Oman, I’ve always felt safe and secure.
Chief Executive Officer, Renna Mobile
Oman is a beautiful peaceful country with a great variety of Sea, Desert, Mountains and Wadis. Despite the hot weather in Summer but Oman has a beautiful weather for around 8months during the year. Even during Summer mountains has good weather in Summer also Salalah during Summer time has an exceptional weather. So all around the year you can enjoy Oman.
Despite what is going on in the region, Oman has a good relationships with all countries which makes Oman a peaceful place to live in and raise your family.
The people of Oman are unique and very welcoming.
Omani’s are always ready to help and support, they are very welcoming and respectful, they respect the law, driving in Oman is an example of that.
Ali al Habsi
Oman football team captain and Al-Hilal goalkeeper
Since the dawn of the Blessed Renaissance, His Majesty the Sultan has laid the pillars of national unity, which serves as a springboard for development efforts in all fields. His Majesty the Sultan has promoted the values of justice and the rule of law. Over the past years, he has held a firm belief in the ability of the Omani citizen to play a role in building his present and shaping his future.
German expatriate in Oman
Because the first thing that greets me in the morning is sunshine.
Because there is natural beauty on every corner, just waiting to be explored.
Because Omani people are the most genuinely hospitable people I’ve ever met.
Because life is great when filled with sunshine, beauty and nice people.
Croatian expatriate in Oman
The locals’ hospitality never fails to amaze me here. I have been shown around, invited for Omani kawha and been offered free rides in different parts of this naturally blessed land.
I love the unlimited options to learn from the people and their culture, and I absolutely love the road system here.
Oman is a great place to enjoy balance between work and spare time, which I spend venturing out across the hidden wadis and mountains. Adventure is always around the corner in Oman and the best part is, it’s safe!
Indian expatriate and project engineer of OSP and FTTH projects, in Oman
Oman is my home, and I will always love it. Something about the simplicity of the country attracts me. It is also the reason why I take pride in telling people that I indeed reside in the Sultanate.
I went on to complete both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from here, and then took up a job that aims to modernise the telecommunications industry in the country.
I must say that all credit goes to His Majesty, who has taken special care in making this a beautiful country to live in; Oman really has developed over the past four decades under his watch.
Everyone adores him and holds a special place for him in their hearts. That is a true testament to the wonderful leader that he has been to us.
Moreover, while I am saying this, I must also congratulate His Majesty for leading Oman for 47 years. None of this would have happened without his love and support.
I would also like to thank all my Omani friends for making me feel at home – even though this has theoretically been my home for 24 years. And if I must confess: I have enjoyed every minute of my time here. Thank you, Oman!
Jordanian expatriate in the Sultanate
Long live His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. I only moved to Oman last year. But, the love and support that I have received from the people are truly amazing.
I do not feel like I am an expatriate at all. Everybody is so welcoming and caring; I even am considering moving my wife and children here, soon.
And I believe that all this love is propagated by His Majesty himself. He is a true leader; a fantastic political head, and above all a very wise gentleman. His policies stand for humanity, and the growth of everyone.
The world really needs more selfless leaders like him. From what I am told, His Majesty has not only given his people a better life, but also the chance to be a part of one of the region’s most stable countries.
Everything aside, I would like to thank His Majesty for allowing all of us into this beautiful country, and above all, letting us be a part of this forward movement. I am positive that only the best lies ahead for this country.
May Allah bless us all, and shower His Majesty with long life and many more years of leadership.