OUTLOOK — By Mohammed Al Hadhrami — As I read about “Bait al Hikma” — that legendary library in the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad and woken up to that dream inside me of establishing a similar library in our lovely country Oman, as great and enormous as it is. History has repeated itself — after more than 1,000 years. On His Majesty Sultan Qaboos’s order the library of Husn al Shumookh (Al Shumookh Castle) in Manah was established to spread knowledge from the corners of the castle to the world and from the hills of Saih al Barkat to the passionate researchers in different parts of the world.
Since its inception and until today, I have visited the library twice. I welcomed all the procedures required to allow me to enter the library. One of the employees walked with me to introduce the different facilities available in the place. Again, that dream woke up inside of me and truly I thought that this dream would never come true but the persistence and determination has paved the way for secretly making the dream come true.
I moved around the library from one hall to another and felt this great desire to read each and every book on the shelves. Although I am a book worm since my earliest days and have read more than 1,000 of them so far, I was introduced to some new books and subjects of interest for the first time in my life.
I started picking up the books and reading their titles and authors. I remembered some prominent people who left their fingerprints in the world with their smart and innovative ideas. Now, all these works are resting in the shelves of Husn al Shmookh library, combining the thoughts of all great thinkers and scientists from all over the world under one roof, proving that knowledge can raise one’s standard and the levels of productivity and enable one to influence people with ideas and thoughts.
I was like a bee moving from one flower to another to produce the sweet honey. I took those books gently like a father who is caring for his children, full of confidence that they are in a safe place in that knowledgeable environment. I left the place hoping that the people in charge would keep enhancing the library more by updating it with the latest books from around the world. I left the place wishing that this library would turn out to be one of the most important places for references in the world and a centre for Omani studies, apart from being a living archive for all the Omani issues and publications.