| Azlan Othman |
HER Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, yesterday officiated the Oman Culture Week and Exhibition at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.
The event, which runs from November 11-15, is held to mark the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Brunei Darussalam and the Sultanate of Oman.
Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna was greeted upon arrival by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Hazair bin Hj Abdullah.
The Head of the Omani delegation, Dr Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Harasi, Chairman of Oman’s Public Authority of Radio and Television, in his welcoming speech said, “We are here to celebrate a very important event, which is to mark the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Brunei Darussalam and the Sultanate of Oman.”
“It started in 1984 after Brunei Darussalam gained its independence. It was in that year that His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam visited the Sultanate of Oman. The monarch made another visit in 2009,” Dr Abdullah continued.
“Oman and Brunei Darussalam share many things in common and both nations are very proud of their identities and history. Both nations share the same concern for matters like peaceful co-existence between nations and civilisations. At a time when drums of war are held everywhere, both countries have called for peace and prosperity.
“His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said always said that without peace, there will not be any development, be it national or human development anywhere. Peace is a base for development,” Dr Abdullah added.
“Culture is a better way to celebrate this auspicious event, and culture in both countries is not merely a matter of material things representing human life, but it places a more important role in constructing the national identity. That is what we see in Oman and in Brunei Darussalam as well.”
He also said that during the ‘Cultural Days of Oman’, one could see Oman’s various ways of life, dances, books, the peaceful message of Islam, the thinking and creativity of Omani artists, and other forms of culture.
Dr Abdullah added, “Sayyid Haitham bin Tareq bin Taimour Al-Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture of the Sultanate of Oman, is very supportive of strengthening relations between the two countries through culture, and we do our best to strengthen such ties.”
Speaking on the recent participation by Brunei’s cultural troupe to the Salalah Tourism Festival in Oman, Dr Abdullah said the show, which was broadcast over Oman’s television stations, was well-received by Omani people.
“It was a great thing and Omanis wanted to see them all. We want to see more and more Bruneian troupes visiting Oman.”
The event continued with cultural performances from both countries. Her Royal Highness later viewed an exhibition portraying the diverse culture and heritage of the Sultanate of Oman.
The Oman Cultural Week features three main activities involving both countries, namely an arts and heritage exhibition, cultural shows as well as seminars on culture.
Both countries’ ties and bilateral relations were further strengthened with the renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in cultural cooperation in 2012, followed by several visits and cultural performances by both nations.