The threatening waves of political disruptions have never assumed seismic proportions in Oman. To say that the Sultanate has remained untouched by what the Western media has termed the Arab Spring would be an understatement. The contagion, in fact, was tamed, captivated and stripped of its thunder in Oman. By 1975, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said had quelled the desert rebellion and set the nation on the fast track towards development.
By successfully bringing the erstwhile separatists of the Dhofar region into the national mainstream, His Majesty united the nation in a unique demonstration of a classic counter-insurgency-cum-nation building strategy. The Sultanate quickly seized the opportunity to push forward some pending reforms, brought in several administrative reforms and created new economic opportunities for the sons and daughters of the soil. In a rare display of astuteness, His Majesty once again showed that even disruptions can offer opportunities for growth and development.
The Renaissance thus propelled Oman towards a new dimension, greater heights and the next level of excellence. The air in the Sultanate was permeated with the fragrance of sweeping changes.
The aspirations and demands of Omanis have always been perceptibly different from those of their regional brethren — both in terms of essence and character. The nation has never aspired to change the regime but has, instead, sought to improve it. It has never sought to radicalise society or the administration, but to purge the country of those things that could potentially steer the nation away from the road to development.
And this has precisely been the goal of the Renaissance initiated by His Majesty, who has been steadily steering the nation towards a broader liberal system.
Four decades of continued development has not only made Oman prosperous and wealthy, but has also created a new generation of emancipated, proud and empowered Omanis with a global mindset. And this is perhaps the largest contribution of the Renaissance, which has changed the Sultanate from the inside out. The country's emancipated and proud nationals, the children of the Renaissance, are fully content with the adroitness of their monarch. They feel blessed that they are not governed by the types of Hosni Mubarak, Ben Ali and Muammar Gaddafi. A graduate of Britain's Sandhurst Military Academy, the Sultan has imbibed all the traits of true statesmanship that have made him a Renaissance Man.
Oman has taken the world by storm. Four and a half decades ago, when the Sultanate, led by its young and visionary ruler, initiated the blessed Renaissance to take an inward-looking medieval nation to the threshold of the twenty first century, the world could hardly imagine that it could achieve such an onerous task within such a record time. The country needed magic to achieve what it had set out to achieve. And indeed, Oman showed its magic - the magic of determination and vision.
Unarguably, Oman today stands head and shoulders above other Gulf and North African nations in terms of stability, both political as well as economic, peace, availability of all amenities - civic, healthcare, financial and much more. And according to international rankings, among all the countries in the Gulf region, Oman is the best place to live and do business in — an oasis amidst an endless swathe of arid desolation.
One of the cornerstones of the Sultanate's stability is its unique foreign policy. Oman's foreign policy is characterised by the balancing of interests, tolerance to differences and a determined quest for mutual benefits. While its neighbours in the Middle East have been busy pursuing policies driven by ideology and short-term gains, the Sultanate has charted its own course, with the strong belief that peaceful co-existence is critical to its holistic, long-term goals of achieving security and prosperity in Oman.
Oman, a promoter of global security, has successfully played the role of an ext