Boon for scholars |
Oman Tribune - 28 August, 2012
Building a knowledge-based society is one of the main goals of the Sultanate of Oman and many steps have been taken in this direction – the latest being the opening of Hisn Al Shomoukh Library at Manah, in the Al Dakhiliyah region.
This library, which will basically function as a research centre for scholars and academics, is a cultural platform to disseminate information on the country’s rich historical and cultural legacy in addition to providing researchers with data on scientific and art subjects. Essentially a reference library, the facility will no doubt be a boon for scholars, both in the country and from abroad, who can glean information from its extensive collection of books and documents in hard copy and audio-video formats.
The Sultanate, in line with the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, has always pushed for building bridges of friendship between cultures, and towards the end projection of our ancient cultural traditions and history is an ongoing activity.
The reference library is another effort to acquaint researchers with the nation’s links with the past, its bio-diversity, customs and traditions of the people, historical treasures, cultural norms and development march.
This storehouse of knowledge will serve to preserve Oman’s cultural legacy while facilitating the work of research scholars and academics. Educational institutions can source content in different knowledge fields; the library has facilities to assist students and scholars to make copies of books, documents or papers they may require for their research. Provision of audio-video materials, computers and cameras will facilitate information gathering and the library is also equipped with an indexing system to easily and quickly locate the material which users may seek.
The structure, with an internal space of 3,000 square metres, houses books, documents and research work in Arabic and English.
Sultanate’s stress on promoting its culture and history has won it many friends; it has sparked the curiosity of people of other countries, boosted tourism and, in general, contributed to an increase in business and investment opportunities in the country.
Today, Oman is viewed as a country with immense tourist potential, peaceful ways and people famed for their hospitality. Such are the accruing benefits of a strong culture that engages world communities by holding exhibitions, educational and art programmes abroad. Visitors are charmed by the country’s bio-diversity, topography and historical and cultural sites – since ancient times, Oman’s natural wonders have given rise to many cultural traditions and customs that are alive and flourishing.
These traditions are reflected in art form and folklore in different wilayats and governorates. The new library, which is the latest addition to its cultural ethos, will take the nation a step forward towards fostering peace and friendship in the world through its collection of material that spans centuries, and is easily accessible to academics, scholars and students.
Sultanate’s strong point in its interaction with people of other countries has always been its culture of openness and tolerance. Exhibitions like ‘Omani Cultural Days,’ held abroad in the past, have shown that much goodwill can be generated through such mediums.