Muscat: The ambassadors of 50 countries to the Unesco recently paid a week-long visit to Oman to see historic sites and learn about the country's development. Oman's ambassador to Unesco, Dr. Samira Al Moosa, hosted the group, whose members hailed from different countries like Qatar, Germany, Nigeria, St. Lucia, and China.
Katalin Bogyay, Ambassador of Hungary to Unesco and president of the General Conference, also came for a day. Al Moosa wanted to show them the Unesco world heritage sites in Oman, the country's rich biodiversity, and its development. Many of the ambassadors had no inkling about the progress made by Oman, Al Moosa said.
She said many were awestruck by the existence of traditional customs and modernity, such as at the Royal Opera House Muscat, where new, international music is played at a venue that reflects traditional Omani architecture.
"The ambassadors were impressed. They were impressed with the progress of Oman. They were amazed by the history, and how you could see the history in progress," said Al Moosa.
Al Moosa said the ambassadors were also struck by the soft politics of Oman, and the sense of stability and sustainability in the country. They got first-hand information about strong Omani ties with its neighbours.
"I think they realised the issues important to Oman and how they can collaborate with us bilaterally, as well as on the projects that we're working in on at Unesco," she said.
During their visit to the Sultanate, the ambassadors visited the Frankincense Land sites in Dhofar, and Nizwa Fort. They also toured Al Sharqiyah, spent a night in the Wahiba Sands, and saw folkloric dancing.
"We also went to the opera at night. We wanted not only to show them the heritage, but also the progress and the culture of Oman," Al Moosa said. The visit to Oman will also be beneficial to the tourism industry, as many of the ambassadors planned on returning with their families, and wanted to talk about Oman in their own countries, Al Moosa said.
"We've promoted tourism, and the understanding of Omani culture," Al Moosa said. Al Moosa said the tour would not have been possible without the support of the Ministry of Education, which oversees the Unesco office in Oman, and Oman Air. She expressed her thanks to all of them for their support.