By: Kaushalendra Singh
SALALAH: There was jubilation all over in Dhofar after the news of the arrival of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos flashed on social media. People took a few minutes to confirm the news by calling and recalling their near and dear ones and the euphoria erupted soon after the official announcement on Oman Radio and TV. Men, women and children hit the roads with His Majesty’s pictures with a rare spirit of joy, gratitude and expression of patriotism. The reaction was so spontaneous that many participants were seen walking without footwear, dancing and singing on Dhofari beats.
The initial expression of joy was expressed by the honking of vehicles and waving hands to all the passers-by as an announcement of the good news. Soon after they started gathering in groups dancing and singing. Celebratory groups in front of the main gate of the Al Husn Palace took out a procession waving Omani flags with His Majesty’s pictures in their hands. All the participants were singing and dancing, as they were expressing gratitude to the Sultan. Happiness was all pervasive.
Emotions were also running high as many men and women were seen crying after hearing the news of the Sultan’s arrival from Germany where he had gone for medical treatment.
“I am so happy that I do not know how to react. It is a great day for me, my family, my country and my near and dear ones,” said Laila with tears in her eyes. “We were waiting for this day and thank God the day has come. I want my Sultan happy, healthy and pray for his long life,” she said. Noor al Ghassani, Chairperson of Salalah chapter of Omani Women Association, said “women are indebted to the Sultan for his care and love. Today Omani women are placed on high positions and we are given opportunity to grow and prove our talent. Along with our men, we are partners in progress of the country.”
For Amer Ghanim al Rowas, the news was so overwhelming that he could not hold his tears and started crying while watching TV and seeing His Majesty coming from the aircraft. “I am feeling as if I am relieved of loads of burden I was carrying for so many days,” he said.
Expatriates were equally happy and seen greeting each other. Professor Gamaleldding Abdel Hay Hamid, Chairman of Sudani community, termed Sultan’s arrival as “great day for all the residents of Oman.” As expatriates we are treated so nicely in the country that we feel Oman as a home away from home. I take this opportunity to congratulate the Omanis on behalf of Sudanese living in Dhofar.”
The Chairman of Indian Social Club Manpreet Singh echoed the same feeling and said the Indian community people living in Salalah were sharing the joy of His Majesty’s arrival with the Omani nationals. “A great occasion for all of us, as the kind of safety, security and hospitality we receive in Oman is rare,” he said.
The directorates of Tourism and Education organised functions to mark the occasion, while the schools organised special assemblies to pay gratitude to His Majesty the Sultan. By the time of filing of this report 150 camels and cows were slaughtered, the meat of which distributed among needy people from a designated place.
Locals distributed sweets and came on the streets to celebrate the occasion. Singing and dancing was common sight everywhere in the city after 10 pm, as the small groups which were celebrating the occasion at a small level, merged with similar groups to make it a large procession.
Needless to say, the children were having real fun with Omani flags in their hands, peeping either out of the side windows or from sunroof. Most of the vehicles on the roads were having big Omani flags displayed either on their bonnets or pasted as sunscreen on front and back.
Everyone was praising the Sultan for the all round development of the country. The old generation people were found talking about the metamorphosis, Oman achieved in these 44 years.
“I am witness to what we have achieved. From no roads to web of roads and from a few schools to a number of universities, is the success story of the Sultanate and the Sultan. Further progress is going on, but I will call upon the youth to preserve what we have achieved till today,” said Abdullah, who retired five years ago after serving as a government employee.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER