Omani books corner launched at UTB library

Syazwani Hj Rosli

An Omani publications corner, named after a renowned 11th Century physician, was officially launched during a ceremony at the library of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) yesterday.

Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman was the guest of honour.

The Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashel bin Rashed bin Hashel Al-Maskari said that having delivered 180 books to UTB, the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Brunei Darussalam plans to work closely with authorities in Oman to increase the number of publications in the corner to 500, which will cover several scientific disciplines aligned with academic programmes offered at UTB.

“The launching of the Ibn Al-Thahabi Publications Corner is the fruit of productive joint cooperation between the Embassy and UTB,” he said.

“Omani publications corners have already been established at the four main public universities in Brunei Darussalam, which meets one of the embassy’s primary objectives in strengthening people-to-people relationships through the promotion of Omani and Arabic culture, besides the contribution of Omani scholars in enriching several branches of knowledge in light of the many commonalities shared by Omanis and Bruneians.”

Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman and Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashel bin Rashed bin Hashel Al-Maskari. PHOTO: MUIZ MATDANI

The Acting Vice-Chancellor of UTB Haji Ady Syarmin bin Haji Md Taib hoped the new books would be put to good use by the university’s students and staff.

“I believe that the Ibn Al-Thahabi Publications Corner can contribute in developing our students as global citizens who are open to new concepts and ideas, with a wide range of interests, appreciative of different cultures, and sensitive to issues affecting the global community,” he said.

The Ibn Al-Thahabi Publications Corner will accommodate around 500 publications highlighting the contributions of prominent Omani scholars in the fields of architecture, science and medicine. The corner also has an impressive leisure reading collection on the history, geography, culture, tradition, literature and heritage of the Sultanate of Oman.

Ibn Al-Thahabi (Abu Mohammed Abdellah Ibn Mohammed AL-Azdi) after whom the corner is named, was a prominent Omani physician and scholar who gained fame for his book Kitab Al-Ma’a (The Book of Water), a medical encyclopaedia that catalogued diseases, cures and physiological treatment. It is the first known alphabetical classification of medical terms in the Arabic language.

The Ibn Al-Thahabi Publications Corner is also aimed at nurturing a love of reading among Bruneian youth in line with the initiatives of the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in developing a nation of readers.

The ambassador also presented a framed photograph to the UTB library, depicting His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam together with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman, during a visit to Oman in 1984.

Deputy Minister of Education Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh; Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Brunei Darussalam Jassim Ali Abdullah Al-Obaidli; Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Brunei Darussalam Emad bin Abdul Aziz bin Saad Al Muhanna; Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Brunei Darussalam Salah Mubarak Musleh Al-Mutairi; and Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Haji Azman bin Ahmad were also present.