The Middle East from an Omani point of view

Paloma Romero López

Ali Alhawari is an Omani whose job consists of the finance management sector at the airbase station and to make decisions about that matter. The station has various departments such as engineering, security, air defence, logistics… Mr. Alhawari is therefore, as said, part of the financial sector.  He has mentioned to enjoy his job very much as much as he loved to study his career. He studied wing officer since he wanted to get more knowledge of his country´s military forces and to be part of them.

I personally met him when I lived in London, since he is the father of a very good friend of mine. Due to his origin and knowledge about the Middle East, specially his homeland, Oman, I have decided to make some questions to him that I thought would be interesting to see from his point of view. I began the interview with the stereotypical image of the Middle East zone were we find nations suffering from conflicts, or dictatorship regimes, or strong religion rules… Obviously this is just a stereotype that cannot generalise the whole region, as I finished the interview with a complete opposite image  of Oman.

We touched several topics that I will cover along the article. Regarding the political situation in Oman. Mr. Alhawari mentioned how the political situation in his country is well known for its stability. “It is very rare to see any sectarianism acts or any terrorism and the same goes to racism”, he said. Apparently, in Oman there are very strict rules that all Omanis are obliged to follow, as well as the fact that they strongly follow the Islamic rules of respecting all humans. He did not forget to atribute the government of their contributing in the stability.

Among the region, Oman is a country with good foreign relationships and not only in the Middle East but also elsewhere. He believes it is a strong nation and quite important since “it is very independent and it forms this tight and sincere bond among them (Middle East countries)”

I have discovered a  very neutral and peaceful country. When I asked for any conflict the answer was “there aren´t”. The closer to an internal conflict the thought was some struggles with the oil industry: “since the price of oil is currently rising, this is causing some financial issues. This is at the moment the main and most regular issue in the country.”

Not finding internal conflicts we discussed about the Yemen conflict which is happening right across their frontiers. He believes this was an internal conflict of their neighbour country that has grown due to the interfering of other nations which he claimed was not necessary as the conflict was something Yemen could solve without making it such a big deal (internationally). Despite the proximity of Oman to the conflict, the government has decided to stay out in order to ensure stability and security and not only that, suggests Mr. Alhawari, “also to try and lessen the damages and the unwanted outcomes of this move. . Getting involved will only make the conflict bigger and would produce losses of humans, destruction of infrastructure…” By means, Oman´s involvement in the conflict would just make it worse instead of sorting it out.

There is little we can outline about ISIS. He as most of the people is aware of the critical situation but he was calm when talking from his position since he affirmed that Oman has nothing to do with this terrorist group and he does not see any danger for Oman: “This nation has been building and anchoring the values of world peace and universal acceptance in its people, and it has gone very far. It is very good because these beliefs are growing wildly in the coming generation´s minds and this looks like a huge wall that cannot be easily broken. Gladly, the answer is no, ISIS will not be able to penetrate or approach Oman.”

As a conclusion, this interview reflects a young State from the Middle East that is very peaceful, with a strong religious influence and well respected. Far from radicalism,  the monarchy remains conflicto neutral and internal conflicts are as in any European country merely economical.



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