National Museum of Oman Issues Special Edition of Collection in marine Science

National Museum
National Museum

Muscat: The National Museum has issued a special edition titled “Collection in Marine Science”.

The issue documents the greatness of what the Omani navigator Ahmed bin Majid Al Saadi wrote and reviving his marine prowess and navigational creativity.

The collection documents the origin of the manuscript titled “Kitab al-Fawa’id fi ‘Ilm al-Bahr wa al-Qawa’id”, (Collection of Manuscripts of Benefits in the Science of the Sea and Rules, as well as the abbreviation container in the origins of marine science and Arajiz), which was loaned from Al Assad National Library in the Syrian Arab Republic to the National Museum since 2019.

In the opening speech of the publication, Jamal Hassan Al Moosawi, Secretary General of the National Museum, said: “The display of the original manuscript “Collection in the Science of the Seas” by the author Ahmed bin Majid Al Saadi at the National Museum is an affirmation of the Omani identity of this unique scientific and historical personality, which came in the context of the existing cooperation between the National Museum and the Ministry of Culture of the Syrian Arab Republic within the context of cultural diplomacy pursued by the National Museum.

He added: “The manuscript was loaned to the museum for a period of three years for the purpose of preserving before it was made available for museum display. Coordination was maintained with the National Records and Archives Authority in order to restore this document to its original condition, through the implementation of an integrated program for preservation, and revision. This manuscript is one of the few copies made with the aim of preserving the manuscripts of Ahmed bin Majid Al Saady in the world, the oldest of which is preserved in the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts in Saint Petersburg, Russia.”

For his part, Dr. Hamad Mohammed Al Dhoyani, NRAA Chairman expressed thanks to the brethren in the Syrian Arab Republic for promoting cultural, documentary and museum cooperation.

There is no doubt that the process of making such edition available and displaying it in the National Museum and presenting it is a good opportunity to familiarize with the achievements of Omani scholars as the Omani Navigator Ahmed bin Majid and his works are considered an important asset for Arab and Islamic thought and culture, Al Dhoyani added.

Dr. Bassam Al Khatib, former Ambassador of the Syrian Arab Republic to the Sultanate of Oman said that displaying the manuscript in the National Museum reflects the depth of cultural relations between two countries that had a permanent imprint on the course of human civilization.

He added that the launch of the manuscript of Ahmad bin Majid Al Saadi entitled “The Book of Benefits in Knowledge of the Science of the Sea and the Rules” is an expression of a deep and long-term rapprochement between the Sultanate of Oman and the Syrian Arab Republic because the original manuscript was in Damascus, thanks to the diplomacy of culture and historical brotherhood, which led to the issuance of a Syrian presidential decree to lend the manuscript to the Sultanate of Oman.

The edition came in (722 pages). It includes the introduction to the study conducted by Dr. Humaid Saif Al Nofali to the manuscript and introduction to the edition. The first topic entitled (the copy of the edition), the second topic entitled (Manuscript Letters), and the third topic entitled (preserving the manuscript) and finally review of the photocopied version of the manuscript, along with displaying the details of the manuscript.

The “Collection of proses in Marine Science” manuscript was exhibited at the Maritime History Gallery at the National Museum for 3 months during 2021. The Manuscript was loaned from the Institute of the Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg in Russia. Dated back to the 16th century, it considered to be the oldest manuscript of Ahmad bin Majid in the world. It contains collection of Arajiz (poems) in marine science entitled; Urjūzah Moa’lakiya, Urjūzah Alttayiya, and Urjūzah Sufalia. Along with Kitāb al-fawāʼid fī ilm al-baḥr wa-al-qawāʼid (The Book of the Benefits of the Principles and Foundations of Seamanship), that was loaned from Al Assad National Library in Syrian Arab Republic. – ONA

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