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Oman celebrates day of cultural luminaries

10 Feb 2024 Oman celebrates day of cultural luminaries By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Oman observed a special day dedicated to its globally recognised personalities, as endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (Unesco), on Saturday.

This initiative, spearheaded by the Ministry of Education through the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science, earmarks February 10 as the annual day to honour the memory of Omani personalities included in the Unesco list of globally influential personalities.

The Unesco included linguist Al Khalil bin Ahmed al Farahidi in its list of highly influential personalities in 2005, the physician-cum-pharmacist Rashid bin Omaira al Rustaqi was included in 2013, social reformer Sheikh Nooreddin al Salmi in 2015, physician Abu Mohammed Abdullah al Azdi in 2015, poet Nassir bin Salim al Rowahi in 2019, and the legendary navigator Ahmed bin Majid – celebrated as the Lion of the Sea – was given his rightful place in the list in 2021.

The day was marked to honour the contributions and legacies of Omani figures who have left an indelible mark on both local and global stages. Oman’s successful inclusion of six distinguished individuals and two historic events in Unesco’s programme underscores the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

Unesco recognised Oman’s two significant cultural milestones in its list of anniversaries for 2024-25. This recognition included the 350th anniversary of the Jibreen Castle and the 150th death anniversary of renowned Omani historian and poet Humaid bin Mohammed bin Ruzaiq.

Jibreen Castle, a 17th-century architectural marvel, stands as a testament to Oman’s historical architectural excellence and cultural richness.

Unesco also honours the 150th anniversary of historian Ruzaiq’s passing, a prominent figure in documenting Oman’s historical narrative during the Al Busaid dynasty’s rise to power until Sayyid Said bin Sultan’s reign ended in 1856. Ruzaiq’s scholarly work, marked by its impartiality and thorough research, offers invaluable insights into Oman’s past, the European influence in the Indian Ocean.

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