Saturday, January 10, 2009

Youth Icon writeup anchored in Oman

"Aim for the stars, at least you'll soar high" a much often used phrase to encourage the kids to brush up and pursue their potential to the fullest. The stars that twinkle so bright need not just be in space, this ageless phrase does in fact talk about the bright young stars of today. Who blaze our galaxy by their sheer persona and talent.

The youth of any country is definitively very high energy, powerful, volatile and most often than not unfocussed. When, from amongst them a few, who have made their country proud are acknowledged and celebrated as Icons, they serve to spur the rest of their generation to go that extra mile. Be it sports, fashion, politics, media, entrepreneurship, every field has a blazing icon that looks at you from the posters and says, ”If I can do it, so can you!”
Oman, the country we live in is predominantly a young country, or to put it better, a country of the young. With over 50 per cent of the population aged 16 and below. Oman took a strong step on the global map in 1970, following a long period of isolation. The new Sultan steered the country from a traditional society to a modern one, embracing knowledge, technology, and the strength of roots. Today before us stands a nation that has come a long way in a very short period. A nation that has grown from strength to strength through the vision and the willpower of a young and dynamic Sultan. What better youth icon can a country ask for than the ruler himself?
As the country prospered, so did industry, and the two young seafaring brothers from Sur, with ambitious dreams and entrepreneurial skills not only made Bahwan a household name in the country, but they opened floodgates of opportunity for the youth of this country. Their contribution to the economy and manpower of Oman goes beyond recognition. Two blazing stars in the galaxy of icons for the youth with dreams and the tenacity to implement them.
A country of football lovers has an icon in Ali Al Habsi, who started playing at the age of seventeen and joined the ranks of the Oman under 19 squad, before he was spotted by the the English league to play for them. This young man now shines from the eyes of each kid with a football to toss around. Why limit icons to just men, it really makes me proud that the country we live in, though an Islamic nation has never believed in keeping the womenfolk behind veils. Today Oman is proud of young seventeen year old Buthaina Hamoud Al Yaqoobi. Her participation in the athletic event at the Beijing Olympics is in itself an inspiration to many Omani girls.
The Corporate arena of Oman is full of women who have proved time and again the importance of equal opportunity or no gender bias, their rise in the fields of their choice is a powerful guiding star to every young girl in Oman. The names are many, but the ones that cannot be left out are those of, Hind Bahwan - Director Suhail Bahwan Group, who has spearheaded the IT division of this group and is winner of many awards recognizing her commitment and contribution, Maitha Al MahroUqi is perhaps among the few women, who are heading the complete operations of an airline in the country, HH Sayyida Tania bint Shabib al Said is spreading awareness about the environment through
The Environment Society of Oman (ESO). The fields are varied, but the mission is the same to stay on the path of success and overcome any hurdle that may come your way, which as we all know, somehow manages to increase when it comes to women. These women are the torch bearers for the youth of Oman
The youth of any country is not constrained by geographical or political boundaries when it comes to choosing their personal star or icon, but it does give a boost to know that a kid just like them, with similar educational and social circumstances made it right up there. Youth icons make nations proud. They crossover nationality and emerge as global names to beacon each youngster who dares to dream. The recognition that a country, at times, gets through these icons is immense, Like Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, Sharukh Khan are synonymous with my homeland, India. Similarly Oman has and will continue to get global recognition through its young and aspiring youth. Here's saluting 'Shabab Oman'