All Under One Flag – Feel And Act As One!
The Omani Flag and Map
Images His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said
By Majid Said Nasser Al Suleimany
This article was originally written on November 13 2010 – 5 years ago – and still felt as valid and relevant. Appeared in Knowledge Oman and Oman Daily Observer also!
As kids, we have read all these stories. Most of us have been told these stories by our parents, grandparents or have read them in school too!! How come we conveniently have forgotten all these now?
This is the story of the Father laying on his deathbed and calling his children around him. Then he gives each child a stick and asks them to break the stick in two. Each one of them is able to do that. Then he takes all the sticks and ties them up in a bundle. He then asks each child to do the same. None of them are able to break up the bundle.
Each one of them looks in amazement and awe at their dying father and what he is now up to. Then the father cautions – so long as you stick together as one, nothing will ever happen to you in your lives. But if you get out of the bundle and be as a single stick, everyone outside can break you into two. You must always be together and act as one. Remember this always my children! If you want to bring in drama and heroics in, the father soon dies after saying this. In real life, the father lives a bit longer, before the last breath leaves his body, giving enough time for his children to do their home works and comprehend their father’s teachings!
A long time ago when I was in Secondary School in that distant land, this was the time of the Apartheid system in South Africa. We had some Black Africans from South Africa who were there as refugees, and some of them joined our school too. At that time, I was the Head Prefect of our wing in school, and one of my jobs was to invite and welcome new students in the school. This particular student was very hostile to me. He used to tell the local African students why do you keep a ‘coloured’ (I came to know later it meant Arabs and Asians in his left behind country, and as his white African brothers peers were ruling the country in their absence). Why do you keep this coloured as your Head Prefect? Are you not ashamed of yourselves? Have you no pride? What is wrong with you peoples?
All Under One Flag – Feel And Act As One!
I was really taken aback by these unprovoked and uncalled for challenges, when all that I was trying was to make the guy feel welcome and at home, as my job duties, aspects and responsibilities called on up on me to do so. I got very angry and annoyed and decided to quit. The Students Council and The School Management refused to accept this, and I was really touched to see the students stand up (most of them fellow blacks but of another country) and tell the guy off. In the end, this chap became my very good friend, as the knack in me to bring friendships and trust where previously there was hostility and annoyance.
All the students told him off – he was selected by us not because of his colour but by the trust, faith, credibility and confidence that we have on him – and nothing else – and he is one of us. You – you are a stranger and guest to our country – so please behave as one!
Long time ago I was forced as part of the college curriculum in that place to read about Socialism. In one of the Marxist theories, they believed in breaking up law and order by the use of a gun (actual words peace comes through the barrel of the gun!). One of their theories was to divide the peoples and leadership by such tactics and show the leadership in poor format. But the punch line was – Divide and conquer.
My Late Father PBUH – He went to Zanzibar Africa at age of 22 with my late elder brother and sister. His parents like him were all born in Oman. So my maternal grandparents – from Manah to Hayll Al Ghaaf – Quriyat! Rest of us born there!
That is a plain message when you want to divide and split your enemy, by giving colouring and specifics to peoples, so they end up paying homage and more interests in this than at looking as they say the bigger picture. Or not looking outside the box. Or not seeing the forest because of the trees.
One country that I really admire is India. Where else in the world you would have a Muslim President, a Sikh Prime Minister, and a Christian as a Defence Minister. Whichever part of India you come from, you are one as First Indian. The same case is in USA with their multi-ethnic backgrounds, with a Black American as Secretary of State. Then you have all the mix, and even refugees to the country can make it to being rich and high positions of state (Remember Dr. Kissinger and Madeline Albright?). Now President Obama – the first non-white USA President.
For our future generations and for record in history books, we need to impart on our younger generations that due to the complexities involved in our history, we may come from different backgrounds – but we are first and foremost as first Omanis and this is the only country that God has given to us as our own. We need to stop these polarizations and bringing up artificial splits and divisions. Remove all these pointing out fingers. Remove all the jealousies, envies and what have you. In the global village we are now in, we cannot afford such things and must be shunned at all costs.
One time while studying in UK in my Business Studies, I made a grave mistake to talk badly about one Indian descendant guy but nationality of a different country. The guys from that land (if you want to say original owners of the land or natives) were pissed off with me and put me directly into my place.
I make the call again today.
We are all as Omanis as one people. We must all be as ONE and love each other as ONE. Despite any artificial differences or nature, we are as one. We see things unfolding in front of our eyes in other places, and we must learn from these. There is nothing as bad and ugly as seeing things gone wrong in other places, and you as a human being with God’s graces and intelligence and wisdom given not doing anything to change and or confirm. We become only worse than animals.
*** We can still do Much more***
We as Omanis can still do much MORE by loving each other MORE; be MORE kind, gentle, caring, generous and feeling to each other MORE, support each other MORE, be one people under one flag and one Nation under HM MORE; help, assist and co operate with each other MORE; avoid differentiating, polarising, friction avoidance MORE – and not let others outsiders interfere and try to divide and split us MORE.
We owe it to HM, our beloved nation, our history, traditions, heritage, culture, customs and values more. HM has made great personal and self sacrifices for us all Omanis that today we can hold our heads high with pride, esteem and dignity. It is not what we think and feel – but we will be judged by our ACTIONS – and not empty WORDS or RHETORICS!
The time to do that is now, not tomorrow. Just Now!
We wish him a very long life and health – and for the renaissance and enlightment to ever continue and move ever forward – Amin.