Mohammed Mahfoodh Al-Ardhi
JUST like my fellow Omani citizens, who are keen to witness our country’s elevation to the next phase of development, I find myself frequently pondering over our government’s Tanfeedh programme that represents a proactive approach to diversifying our country’s economy.
Questions regarding our collective readiness to turn a new page come to my mind as I contemplate the winning elements that will unlock the doors to a prosperous future for our nation.
In my opinion, it is our patriotism – a sense of belonging to the wider community – and our industriousness – reflected in Oman’s rich history of entrepreneurship – that will drive us towards a prosperous tomorrow.
The concept of patriotism is a complex one. How can we define our connection with our home country? Is it solely about geography? Why is it that so many people, despite spending a significant portion of their lives abroad, still feel a strong connect and sense of possessiveness when it comes to their homeland? Or does that bond depend on who rules the country?
My personal experience and observations suggest that the sense of belonging to our homeland, the passion to serve our nation and contribute to its success, is sentimental in nature.
It is true that we Omanis are committed to the wise vision of our beloved leader, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, but our values run even deeper, dating back centuries in our nation’s history. Although we live in a fast-evolving era where global influences are rampant, it brings me immense pride to see that Oman’s defining values – amicability, industriousness and altruism, to name a few – remain strong among the young generation.
It is certainly commendable that Oman has never experienced a clash between its politics and the prevalent culture, or between practical decisions taken at a government level and the citizens’ values.
Our leadership and people are in absolute synch when it comes to cherishing the Omani way of life, built on harmony and collective prosperity. Our nation has set an excellent example that sends a powerful message at a time when many countries are plagued by internal conflicts and unrest – that it is possible for citizens to live peacefully in a truly cohesive and organic society.
However, in Oman, we do not believe in resting on our laurels. In order to ensure that the Tanfeedh programme achieves its maximum potential and realizes the ambitious socio-economic goals earmarked by the government, we will need to demonstrate a high degree of willingness to exert our energies and hone our strengths for the prosperity of our nation.
The Tanfeedh provides myriad opportunities for Omanis to put their intelligence and creativity to best use – motivating people and organizations alike to enhance their capabilities and leverage their strengths in working synergistically to build a secure future for the new generations.
It is encouraging to witness all concerned stakeholders working collectively and harmoniously towards this shared goal.
For example, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Heritage and Culture are collaborating to privatize the management of Oman’s natural and protected areas. The move seeks to enhance the country’s tourist offerings and help cement Oman’s position as a popular travel destination.
I see the Tanfeedh programme as an honest tribute to Oman’s incredible history, and a solid investment in our deeply ingrained culture of industriousness that has endured the test of time.
Such an investment can produce excellent outcomes that help us preserve the principles we live by, and serve as a catalyst for national stability and prosperity.
[The author is the Executive Chairman of Investcorp and an International Advisor to the Brookings Instituition. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman].
—Courtesy: Times of Oman