Omani books corner launched at RBAF Defence Academy

James Kon

An Omani publications shelf named after Al Muhallab bin Abi Sufra Al-Azdi, a prominent military general, was launched at the library of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF)’s Defence Academy yesterday.

The shelf was launched by Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof and Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashel bin Rashed bin Hashel Al-Maskari.

In a speech at the graduation ceremony of the 10th RBAF Command and Staff Course at the Defence Academy, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi conveyed his gratitude to the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Brunei Darussalam for its contribution.

He said, “It is hoped that the launch of Oman’s Publication Corner will further nurture the interest and culture of reading among military officers. This generous gesture will enrich our knowledge on the rich history and rapid development of the Sultanate of Oman, and also reflects the existing strong defence relations between Brunei Darussalam and Oman.”

Al Muhallab bin Abi Sufra Publications Shelf contains around 100 publications highlighting contributions made by renowned Omani scholars on several branches of knowledge as well as a leisure reading collection on the history, geography, culture, tradition, literature and heritage of Oman.

Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashel bin Rashed bin Hashel Al-Maskari unveils a potrait 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 and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the late Sultan of Oman. Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof is also seen. PHOTO: JAMES KON

The ambassador said, “The launch of Al Muhallab bin Abi Sufra Publications Shelf is an opportunity to celebrate one of the most powerful factors and fundamental vehicles in the dissemination and preservation of knowledge, and cultural exchanges, which is the book; and it works 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 building a nation of readers.”

As part of this effort, similar Omani publications corners were launched at libraries of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) in February 2016, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) in May 2017, Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) in July 2018 and Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) in October 2019.

In conjunction with the launch, the ambassador presented the Defence Academy’s library with a framed portrait of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the late Sultan of Oman, during a visit to Oman
in 2009.

Also present at the launch were senior officials from the Ministry of Defence, as well as foreign diplomats and guests.