Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rare interview with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos

Reported today in the Oman Tribune is an extensive interview with HM by a Kuwaiti journalist. The interview is pretty obsequious, but some of the answers are of great interest. Its in English, although not so much a translation from the original Arabic than a transliteration, so be aware that it would read a lot better if properly translated into English! (HM speaks perfect English, naturally).

He doesn't really ask (or report asking) any real tough questions, but it still gives some insight into what drives HM, his vision, and his steer on issues such a Government and development. Given HM's pretty snappy tone in reply to question 2, I can see why the questioner was at pains to answer gentle and open questions!

I’ll highlight 3 QAs, you can read the rest yourself if interested:

Firstly, on his state of health:
Q: Your Majesty, your people and the peoples of the region who followed up the march of the Renaissance want to be assured about your health.
A: I am here in front of you and I believe that you see me enjoying full health and welfare although when we grow old, our bodies become tired and whenever your bodyweight suffers an increase or decrease, many may believe that the man is sick. We have to remember that following a good diet is a treatment. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "We are a nation that eats not until it feels hungry and when we eat , we don't stop until we are satisfied. The balance in diet means health and not bad health. I am fine and absorbed in the affairs of my country, which are my real health. I am here in front of you Mr Ahmed, hale and hearty following the same daily programme and the affairs of the country meticulously. As I told you earlier, I go to sleep with a clear mind, follow the news around me , the news of those whom we affect or get affected by and always remembering Allah, we feel serenity.

I wake up from my sleep relaxed the next morning and start follow-up paper work in front of me with accuracy because I don't like making mistakes in any decision. Whatever I approve, I will sent to the respective departments for implementation. Before making decisions , I reconsider them several times to make sure that they are sound right and that I did not make wrong . The land and people of Oman are in my heart and mind. My post is a rather a responsibility than a privilege. I told you we are delegated by our nations and our mission is to serve this nation that reacted with us to achieve the Omani Renaissance.

Secondly, On why Oman allegedly refused the immediate offers of external aid during the cyclone recovery last year.
Q: Your Majesty, when Cyclone 'Gonu' hit the Sultanate recently, it was said that you rejected any assistance, does this means that you do not need any favour that would be followed by harm?
A: That is not the right description, we did not reject assistance as critically suggested in your question. When the cyclone had come and gone, I and my people were able to identify the disaster's results. We also wanted to test our strength in the face of such a disaster, our people were subjected to such a test and I tell you that we succeeded. Such a test has waken up the people and the Omani nation whom we found stood united as one and capable of discharging its duty. Unfortunately, there are some people who figured out this disaster as God's punishment, such people are interpreting away from the Shariat cause. Let us take this issue as a warning from God so that people would understand that life is not always without hardships and therefore, they should be prepared for all that is ordained on them and this is natural. We should always say, Thanks God for what he has ordained and for his kindness. Such natural disasters in other countries are common, and permanent and not exceptional. What happened to us may happen once or twice, we consider it an exception if we compared with others who are experiencing disasters annually or repeatedly. With a high level of national cooperation and sentiments we were able to face this disaster, and I was extremely delighted for the Omani people's cooperation with which we were able to overcome such a cyclone with believing hearts free from any panic, fear or chaos.

And third, on the inflation issue:
Q: Your Majesty, under such circumstances, what about inflation in your country and will the current oil prices lead to more development?
A: Inflation is not that worrying and is not so major. It varies from other countries in which inflation reaches high figures. Our inflation is not that critical and when reaching a specific figure sometimes, it can be described as a healthy condition for speeding up growth. No doubt, oil prices have increased the income, and if so, as experts say, such prices may not continue. Its reaching such a stage was due to dollar devaluation. However, I cannot offer speculation in this regard, but had a decline taken place, as experts say, it won't be a major one. Let us leave the oil prices to Supply and Demand. They say that world oil reserves are full and that the market is flooded with oil, but these are the prevailing prices. No doubt that the oil prices will reflect on volume of funds in the region as it is the case in the Oman.

full article


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  3. The most Decent,Dedicated,Educated, and Peacfull Ruler through out the GCC....

    I enjoyed my 18 years I spent in Oman with this Woderful MAN & Ruler.

    Love to return to Oman & spend a few years more!!!!

    Noel Soff

    604 517 1961

  4. A good & Peaceful Man, immensly concerned about his people & country!!!!!!


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