Text of speech by Lamya Al Kharusi, Research Assistant, Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Jewel of Muscat Website Launch
15th March 2009
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We often see things in terms of whether they are “traditional” or “modern”. The belief is that one can either be one or the other, but that each are mutually exclusive.
With the Jewel of Muscat that division doesn’t apply. While we’re building a 9th century “traditional” ship, we are simultaneously using the most modern technology to tell a global audience about the project.
www.JewelofMuscat.tv is an ambitious website; it is innovative and unprecedented. Working with Inclusive Digital of London we have essentially created a TV channel on the internet, yet it is one where the viewer chooses what to watch and when to watch it. The website features videos categorized chronologically to tell the story of the boat’s construction, and they are routinely updated as the project progresses. Ultimately, there will be video coverage spanning all stages of construction, the launch, and the voyage to Singapore, inshallah, in 2010.
The website also includes descriptive photos, as well as a map to track the voyage route, a project timeline, and interesting diary logs from team members. A wealth of educational resources on Oman’s maritime trade history, the Tang Treasure and the Belitung Wreck, which inspired the Jewel of Muscat, are available for the internet surfer who wants to expand his or her knowledge.
A major education section is in development, as well, which will contain resources for teachers and students from primary school to high school. It will allow students to learn more about Geography, history and science through activities designed specifically for students.
Personally, I think the most intriguing and exciting part of the website will be the major archive section, now under development. It will cover information on building techniques, sails, navigation, and construction. This section will be useful for academics, students, and people that are generally interested in boats and maritime heritage.
All in all, the Jewel of Muscat website is a window for the world to understand, learn and appreciate Oman’s deep rooted maritime heritage through a modern TV website. I do urge you to go and visit it at: jewelofmuscat.tv.
Now so that you can see how interesting the site is I would like to ask His Excellency President SR Nathan officially to launch the website JewelofMuscat.tv.