Dr Hassan Wario, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts patronised the opening ceremony which was held last week. It was held in the presence of Cabinet Secretary for Tourism; Dr Hamad bin Mohammed al Dhoyani, chairman of NRAA; H E Saleh bin Sulaiman al Harthy, sultanate’s Ambassador to Kenya, and a number of senior officials and Omani dignitaries in Mombasa, Lamu and Malindi.
The opening was held under the supervision of NRAA, in coordination with the sultanate’s embassy in Kenya, in collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts. It was within NRAA’s efforts in introducing aspects of culture and history of Omanis and their role in the region.
Dr Wario said that the civilisation in Mombasa Swahili society is linked to the African and Arab civilisation, stressing that the sultanate was able to bring this relationship closer. He added that the ongoing exhibition reflects the Omani culture and the great role played by Omanis in East Africa, specifically in Mombasa, when they responded to the request of the people of Mombasa to support them to fight Portuguese occupation.
Dr Dhoyani said that the ceremony captures love and affection of the civilised society of Mombasa which contributed to making the city.
The exhibition in four halls reflects the story of the history of Oman. The first hall is named the Omani House. It depicts the migration of Al Julandani and Al Nabhani and other tribes, and the stages of liberation against the Portuguese invasion through Omani response to a request for help from the people of Mombasa until the reign of Al Busaidiya state.
The second hall is named Oman Hall and it contains the cultural and historical aspect of Oman since prehistory period to the reign of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. It showcases documents, manuscripts and collections of daggers, swords, clothes, agricultural production and trade exchange.
The third hall is called Modern Oman and contains the development landmarks in the sultanate in terms of education, health projects and tourist attractions and images of the royal tours of His Majesty the Sultan, the Council of Oman, and the role of women in development. The hall is provided with screens to show films on Oman in Arabic and English. Al Mazroui Hall shows a series of walis from the Mazroui family and others who ruled Mombasa and displays documents dealing with the society of Mombasa.
The project confirms the depth of Omani relations with the community of Mombasa and the friendship between the sultanate and Kenya.