Everybody loves the moon. We love it for its splendour, its beauty and how it climbs high in the sky. So, I’d like my nation to rise up high and shine just like the moon. And for everyone to come to love Oman like we do.
Maisa Al Hooti, 30, underwater photographer
On 10 January 2020 Qaboos bin Said Al Said died in Oman. Qaboos is recognised as the enlightened Sultan who, exactly fifty years ago, began the country’s journey towards modernisation, rapidly transforming it into a developed, geopolitically neutral nation that is open to the West.
And this year, in 2020, the country will commemorate this fiftieth anniversary. In 1970 Qaboos bin Said Al Said overthrew his father and began a process of reforming Oman through substantial investments in healthcare and education. One of the key results of this development can be seen today in the demographic data: 65% of Omanis are younger than 25 years of age. But what are their lives like? What do they think? What are their dreams?
This portrait of the nation is the work of four young photographers who explored the country, following different itineraries with a view to telling the story of a nation balanced between the past and the future. They did so through the stories and experiences of the new generation, the engine of this change: from the creative and digitalised youth of Muscat to the youngsters of the rural areas involved in family businesses, from successful athletes to professionals in the tourism sector. All of them have a forward-looking outlook, as well as great respect for the traditions of their country.
The project was produced in collaboration with the Oman Ministry of Tourism.