Muscat: A day-long campaign on social media, primarily on Twitter, is helping establish Madha museum at a cost of OMR300,000.
The museum, the long-standing dream of an Omani citizen, will house 15,000 items of historical and archaeological importance.
Mohammad Al Madhani's 43-year-old dream came true when a hashtag 'Mutahaf_Madha' or Madha Museum was started in Arabic by a group of activists on Twitter Sunday morning.
The campaign aimed at supporting the long standing demand of Mohammad Al Madhani, a Madha resident. Madha is in Musandam governorate, surrounded by the UAE from all sides.
After a few hours of heated discussions on Twitter among people from various quarters of the Omani society, Salim Al Mahruqi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, announced on Twitter a fund worth OMR300,000 for establishing a complete Madha museum — an individual effort of Mohammad Al Madhani.
Confirming the report in an interview with the Times of Oman, an elated Al Madhani said this was his dream coming true after almost 43 years. "This became possible due to the Omani youths who took the issue to the social media and supported the cause," he said adding that since 1971, he has been collecting all sorts of items of historic importance including artefacts, coins of various periods, manuscripts and beautiful inscriptions on rocks which date back to at least 2,000 years.
There are items of Umayyid as well as Abbasid periods. All these items depict the history of Omani culture, heritage and traditions from a period that has not been recorded so far.
"Initially, I started collecting all these items as a hobby which was almost 43 years back.
Eventually, it became my passion. I spent a fortune to collect all these items. For this, I was offered millions of dollars by people from abroad but I refused to accept as I wanted the museum to be in Madha, Oman as all these items belonged to its history and I am rooted in Oman," said Al Madhani.
He added that he has been collecting all these items "in my house in boxes which were provided by the government after many efforts."
But there was no real effort to turn all these items into a full-fledged museum to showcase history and traditions of Oman and its relations with the world outside.
Al Madhani said His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said showed enormous interest in the collection and honoured him in 1994.
Only in Madha
"After the announcement about the funding by Salim Al Mahruqi, my concern is that the museum should not be shifted to any other place, including even Muscat. It belongs to Madha and it should always be there," he stressed.
Mohammad Al Battashi, a mechanical engineer by education and profession and passionate about the history of Oman, who was part of the campaign on Facebook, said that a number of events were organised to introduce Mohammad Al Madhani's efforts, including an Oman TV programme during Ramadan.
"The Madha museum deserved this support and needed to be promoted as one of the landmarks showcasing the life and times in Oman," Al Battashi noted.
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