Muscat, The International Conference on

Oman’s Maritime Heritage organised by Oman Studies Centre at

Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) commenced at the University today

under the patronage of Sheikh Hamad bin Hilal al-Ma’amari,

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture for Cultural

Affairs.

The three-day conference features 42 working papers covering

seven themes.

Dr. Ahmed bin Hamed al-Raba’ani, Director of Oman Studies

Centre, Chair of the Conference’s Organising Committee, in his

speech, mentioned that the Sultanate of Oman occupies distinguished

geographic location, which made the country a pioneer in maritime

sciences. This has enabled the Sultanate to establish a deep-rooted

maritime heritage, which reflected the extent of advancement and

prosperity that the Omanis had achieved in ship-building industry and

maritime sciences, he said.

Dr. al-Raba’ani said that Omanis were able to expand their

maritime sovereignty where they crossed with their ships and naval

fleets the world’s continents. This maritime tradition has helped Oman

to contribute greatly to the spread of Islam in the lands with which they

had contacts. This contributed to enhancing the commercial ties and

civilisational connections with ancient and modern civilisations, such as

Mesopotamia, North and West Africa, China, India and Southeast Asian

countries and USA. Despite the peace culture, which had been

adopted by Omanis on their travels, they were not deedless to boost

their maritime sovereignty and to become a formidable power to defeat

their enemies, expel them from the Sultanate and even chase them

overseas and extend the Omani influence in the Indian Ocean, he

said.

He said that the conference seeks to shed light on various

aspects of the Omani maritime heritage and its scientific, political,

economic, social and cultural significance. The exhibition

accompanying the conference includes a wide range of manuscripts,

documents, navigational instruments and tools used in the past by

Omani seafarers. The exhibition is organised, in association with the

Ministry of Heritage and Culture, the National Museum, the Oman

Shipping Company, the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO), the Oman Center

for Traditional Music and the Omani Society of Fine Arts.

Source: Oman News Agency