Oman embassy celebrates 49th National Day

Izah Azahari

The Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Brunei Darussalam celebrated the 49th National Day of the Sultanate of Oman at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall of The Empire Brunei in Jerudong last night.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad Isham bin Haji Jaafar, and his spouse Datin Dr Hajah Noraslina binti Haji Ramlee were the guests of honour.

The event began with the singing of Brunei Darussalam and the Sultanate of Oman’s national anthems by Al-Falaah School students, followed by the recitation of verses from Al-Quran.

The event proceeded with a speech by Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashel bin Rashed bin Hashel Al-Maskari. He highlighted the embassy’s participation as the country of honour at the Brunei Book Fair along with the recent launch of the 4th Omani Publications Corner named after well-known Omani Scholar Ibn Al-Thahabi at the library of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) containing over 180 books.

The ambassador said that similar Omani publications corners were also launched at the library of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) in February 2016, at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Library in May 2017, and the library of Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) in July 2018, while on July 2019, the embassy presented 54 Omani-themed publications to the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies as part of the centre’s efforts to develop its resource centre.

In line with the embassy’s efforts to make the most of the Bruneians admiration for Arabic Language, he added that a fifth batch consisting four teachers from the Ministry of Religious Affairs studied Arabic Language at Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic Language to Non-Native Speakers, for a duration of eight weeks.

Two Omani experts facilitated Arabic Language workshops, organised by Brunei’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, to enhance teaching techniques of up-to-date Arabic language curriculums among the teaching staff of Arabic schools in Brunei.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad Isham bin Haji Jaafar, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashel bin Rashed bin Hashel Al-Maskari and their spouses during the cake-cutting ceremony. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Three Omani students from Sultan Qaboos University are studying at UBD for one academic semester as part of a students exchange programme that saw a number of students from UBD study at Sultan Qaboos University under the same arrangement.

Defence cooperation is another dimension of Brunei-Oman bilateral relation that has also grown steadily over the past years, where the Commander of the Royal Brunei Land Forces paid a working visit to the Sultanate of Oman in July this year.

Both countries’ armed forces regularly participate in command and staff courses and other military events and trainings in Oman and Brunei.

Oman and Brunei have also maintained strong cooperation in economic investments over the past several years, in which the Oman Brunei Investment Company jointly established by the two governments in 2009, continues to make the most of business opportunities available in Oman and Brunei local markets, to boost the two countries’ economic development and contribute to their economic diversification plans to bring the economic cooperation between the two countries to a new era of flourishing cooperation. He also congratulated Managing Director of Brunei Investment Agency Haji Sofian bin Haji Mohd Jani on his recent appointment as the Chairman of Oman Brunei Investment Company.

In line with the two governments’ aims to manage their oil-generated revenues and attaining economic sustainability, the third Brunei-Oman Joint Seminar took place last April.

The ambassador added that the activities related to the two countries relations are a result of the Bilateral Consultative Meeting established over two decades ago. In all 18 sessions of the consultative meeting have taken place, alternating between the two capitals of Bandar Seri Begawan and Muscat and chaired by the Brunei Minister of Foreign Affairs II and the Secretary General of Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Further enlivening the event was a cake-cutting ceremony by the Minister of Health, Ambassador of the State of Oman to Brunei Darussalam, and their spouses, followed by a souvenir presentation.

A short video showing glimpses of musical performances by Omani musicians as well as the Senandong Budaya group of Brunei’s Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports were also screened.