Message from Mr Terry Garcia Chief Science and Exploration officer of the National Geographic Society to the celebration marking 5th anniversary of Jewel of Muscat project

1st November 2015

Dear Distinguished Guests,

For over 125 years, the National Geographic Society has supported scientific exploration and discovery around the world, from Hiram Bingham’s search for the lost city of Machu Picchu to Jane Goodall’s search for humanity within our chimpanzee cousins, to Lee Berger’s recent discoveries of human ancestors in South Africa.

Through all these scientific breakthroughs, the Society has sought to communicate to the public the triumphs, and hardships, of the scientific process. The Jewel of Muscat represents a remarkable undertaking in the world of science and exploration, not just for all that it has achieved and continues to achieve, but also because of the values it embodies.

The spirit of the Jewel is the same spirit that guided those first Arab navigators who boldly set sail from Oman into unknown waters to open new trade routes to the East and the South. It is a spirit of adventure, exploration and openness to different cultures and new experiences.

The Jewel of Muscat is also a wonderful example of what can be achieved by international cooperation.

The National Geographic Society is proud to have been involved with the Omani Government in documenting the construction and sailing of this remarkable ship from Oman to Singapore. My only regret is that I could not be here in person to congratulate the Omani and foreign experts who made it all possible.

As the National Geographic Society enters a new stage of our history, following the recent partnership with Fox 21st Century, we look forward to broadening our support to science, conservation, and exploration across every corner of the globe.

The Sultanate of Oman and the Arabian Peninsula are a critical nexus of marine and terrestrial ecosystems as well as the refuge of many ancient cultures and languages. As such, we perceive it to be a biological and cultural “hotspot” and are very keen to continue the relationship that began with the Jewel of Muscat.

With a hearty congratulations to all the experts and government officials who made the Jewel of Muscat possible, and a wish to see you all in the near future.