Our Sultan is Home
I'm taking a risk today. I usually draft my blog posts in Word, and then read them multiple times and edit endlessly. I still never seem to catch every error or even find the exact way to convey my message. Today, I'm so moved by the return of the Sultan I'm going to post this for you as I feel it. I apologize in advance for my errors.
Last night, at 7:22PM I received a WhatsApp message. It said, "Babe, Sultan Qaboos is back..." I felt shock. Before I replied I went to Google and searched "Sultan Qaboos." My head was spinning. Could this be true? Was our leader back? Was he O.K.? Was he healthy? Google... Nothing. News tab... Nothing. The text was from a well connected Omani friend. She must be right. But I found nothing. I should have searched the Times of Oman. She was right. The radio was going crazy. The people and the streets were going crazy. I felt so much relief. I felt so much pride. I felt safe.
Today, I've been obsessing about his return a bit. I've been watching social media, reading about companies and individuals celebrating. Why, and how, has this person inspired his people to love him so much? How do his people and his country inspire us, the expats, whom have never met him to love him too? I feel like my grandfather has returned home from the hospital and he is going to be okay. How can that be possible? How can I feel so much admiration for someone I have never met?
When you ask locals about His Majesty they gush. They could simply say one polite sentence and we would think nothing of it. However, if you give an Omani a minute or two they will go on.... and on ....and on..... about how much he has done for the country. They even have the facts to support their arguments. They know what they are talking about and they are proud. Incredibly proud, inspired and thankful.
This overwhelming respect and appreciation is contagious. The facts are inspiring. I have yet to meet an expat that won't tell you the same. People often say that he is legendary. He has ruled since 1970 and people love him and call him legendary. Right now, I feel fascination and I feel speechless.
The Muscat Media Group has posted a special tribute video on YouTube honoring his safe return. It is less than four minutes. It is worth your time. Imagine for a moment that your leader, wherever you live, was away for eight months being treated for an illness. Would his or her safe return inspire your community this much?
The Times of Oman posted photos of the enthusiasm and a message on Facebook asking people to share the "top five reason why Sultan Qaboos is the best leader in the world." There were hundreds of responses and they were beautiful. They explained that he brought peace, tolerance, humanity, equality, and protection. People wrote statements that five words could never be enough or that they were speechless or that they hoped more world leaders would follow his example. The response has been pretty powerful.
I hope you will join in the conversation. Comment below or Tweet us @ConvosAbroad and share which country you are from and the five reasons your leader is the best in the world. #TheBestLeaderInTheWorld
Welcome home, Sultan Qaboos bin Said.