The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said. His deep love for his country, his visionary leadership, and his commitment to peace and understanding between nations was an inspiration.
He was a good friend to and partner of our museum, and we are thankful for all he did to further strengthen the understanding of the culture and heritage of Oman and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. His legacy includes the museum’s largest-ever gift—a donation of $1.8 million through the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center—for the Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa project. Through this three-year gift, the museum explored the Swahili coast and Oman trade route, creating an online and gallery exhibition, a scholarly book, a teen graphic novel, an opera, a ballet, and an award-winning documentary, among other public programs.
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos will be missed not only by the people of Oman, but also by his friends and admirers around the world. We offer our sincere condolences and sympathy to His Majesty’s family and to the Omani people.
Gus Caseley-Hayford, Ph.D.
Smithsonian National Museum of Art