Who will bell the cat, will you?
February 23, 2020
Culinary excellence
March 5, 2020

Namesakes of Oman’s Sultan Haitham

By Hubert Vaz


Five young Omani professionals, who bear the most recognisable first name in Oman, share their joy

Haitam Rafi

Entrusted a bigger challenge

“While the demise of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said was shocking to all Omanis, since he was the father of all of us, he was wise in nominating His Majesty Haitham bin Tarik as his successor and I feel honoured in sharing the same name of the chosen one – HM Sultan Haitham. All of us in Oman lost a great king and a father of Oman in HM Sultan Qaboos – May Allah rest his soul in peace,” says Haitham Rafi, a young singer who instantly shot to fame a couple of years ago after winning an Indian singing competition which was telecast worldwide. “We do feel very sad, but at the same moment also blessed with his nominated choice,” he added.

“My family feels very proud of me now, not just about my own achievements but also because now I bear a name that has significance and recognition internationally. I feel the challenge is much bigger now since my first name is the same as our new Sultan. It might lay some pressure on me to work much harder to shine and make His Majesty’s name proud, too. It will also have a bearing on the name of my country, Oman. I would like to work harder and make all Omanis, as I have already embarked on that journey in my musical career. I have said before and I want to reiterate that I want to be the most famous person on earth – that’s my ambition!”

Haitham Ali Saleh Ba’Omar

Wildlife photographer

A name with a lot of depth

“I’ve always been proud to hold this name, but now it feels great to have the same name as the  Sultan of a great nation such as Oman. The news of the appoint-ment of the new Sultan of Oman brought all of us great joy. All citizens were sure that whatever choice was declared, it would be the best for the nation,” said Haitham Ali Saleh Ba’Omar, a wildlife hobby photographer and banker by profession.

Acknowledging that his family and everyone who knows him does feel extremely proud that he bears a very popular name in Oman, one of royalty,  Ba’Omar said, “The meaning of this name bears a lot of depth. It is, indeed, a great privilege to have a name that is internationally popular and I do feel it a great responsibility to live up to the prestige associated with this name. It has always been my ambition, to work hard to raise myself to a prestigious position, and I will work harder now to achieve all my dreams and bring in greater recognition and prestige to Oman through my achievements in the field of photography.

Haitham had always been fond of animals and had a few pets at home. As a teen, he spent a lot of time watching wildlife shows on television to understand animal behaviour and habitats. A few years ago, he decided to use photography as a way of getting close to the animal world. His dream today is to become a well-accomplished wildlife photographer of international fame.

Haitham al Hadidi. Oman’s drifting whizkid

More value to my name

Haitham al Hadidi, Oman’s charming young drifter who stood third in the MENA and national categories of the Oman International Drifting Championship held at the Oman Automobile Association grounds last week, is one promising drifting star who holds immense potential to top the international drifting scene in coming years.

When asked about the new-found prestige attached with his first name, Hadidi said, “Indeed, I am so happy and it is my honour. His Majesty Sultan Haitham’s name has definitely added more value to my name.”

Hadidi, who had been crowned the ‘King of Drift’ when he was just 18 years, to become not just the youngest Omani but also the youngest Arab to win the title, said he was surprised to learn that he now shared the same name as the new Sultan of Oman but agreed it was the perfect choice for Oman.

Hailing from Nizwa, Hadidi, who has been studying business studies, believes, “If you are passionate about something and work really hard, nothing can stop you from achieving your goal.” He hopes to take motorsports to greater heights in Oman in coming years and his dream is to someday become a Formula 1 driver and spin around the toughest circuits in the world.

“My family are working very hard to support me and encourage me all the way to carry Oman’s flag in all podiums in the world,” says Hadidi, adding,  “This name has how raised the bar for my success path. I have to keep in mind now that I bear a name which holds great prestige in Oman and must strive to maintain that with my hard work.”

An ecstatically exotic feeling

Haitham Hilal al Hajri, a Cyber Security researcher and specialist in Cyber Security and  Electronic Crimes, admits that he was over the moon on learning that his first name has gained international popularity overnight as soon as Oman declared the appointment of its new Sultan six weeks ago.

Hajri, who has worked on numerous important projects in Oman, including Cyber Security National Drill, Cyber Security National Campaign, Youth Forum of Digital Society, Gov eTransformation, Comex Expo, as well as initiatives to create awareness on Cyber Safety in observance of ‘Safe Internet Day’ which is celebrated globally in February, said, “I feel really proud that I share the same first name as His Majesty Sultan Haitham, and I feel I need to be more responsible now, since I have the most esteemed name of royalty in the sultanate.

Asked how he felt on hearing news that His Majesty Sultan Haitham was the favourite choice of the late Sultan Qaboos, he said, “I felt ecstatically exotic feeling.” He also disclosed that his family members and friends, too, feel proud of him since he now bore a name that was special in Oman.

In line with the prestige associated with this name, Hajri agrees, that he needs to strive to follow a disciplined lifestyle and maintain the prestige associated with his name. “For sure, you would want to be in the best state you could achieve, to be well worthy of the name that is associated with the most prestigious royalty in Oman,” he added.

More prestige to my name

With a well toned torso, rippling muscles, an imposing stage presence and a humble disposition to go with it all, Haitham Sadiq al Zadjali, is one of the few best bodybuilders of Oman who has made a mark for himself in the international arena. But all through his journey, Zadjali admits, it was sheer hard work, determination and dedication that got him ahead, nothing else. With little backing and an unsurmountable spirit, he did Oman proud on a few occasions and brought home laurels that made people sit up and take note of Oman.

On learning that he now bears a name that has a lot of prestige attached to it, Zadjali said, “I was greatly overjoyed to learn that Sultan Haitham bin Tarik is the new Sultan of Oman, not only because of HM’s capability but also because I share the same first name. I am now hig-hly thankful for the foresight of my father who chose to give me that name which invokes much respect and admiration today.

He further said, “wherever I go today, people are familiar with my name and happy to hear it. I had been always proud of my achievements for Oman, but now I feel even better as my name goes a long way in bringing about greater admiration. My family members, too, tell me they are very happy to tell everyone that I have the same name as the Sultan of Oman.”

About the great responsibility attached to this name, Zadjali added, “I plan to take bodybuilding to greater heights in Oman now, not just with my own achievements – I already have the titles of Mr Oman, Mr World and many others – but by working hard to promote this sport and in helping youngsters bring greater glory to Oman. In 2020, I hope to add more fame to my name as well as do Oman proud by attaining more such titles.”