The President of the Omani Shura Council recieved the title of Honorary Citizen

The Senate of the Ludovika University of Public Service (LUPS) conferred the title of Honorary Citizen upon His Excellency Khalid bin Hilal Al-Maawali, the President of the Omani Shura Council, which was presented to him by Dr Gergely Deli, the Rector of LUPS, in a ceremonial setting at the Széchenyi Hall of the Ludovika Main Building on May 2.

In his welcome speech, Dr Gergely Deli emphasized that the scientific and educational activities of the university faithfully reflect its motto: In the Service of the Homeland. The citizens of LUPS work, research, and educate future professionals for the benefit of this community. However, this is not just a motto; it expresses our deepest conviction and commitment to the values ​​represented by our university: it signifies the will, determination, and responsibility to act for the good of the community and the homeland. The institution has become one of the region's most significant universities in public administration, diplomacy, security, law enforcement, defence, water management, and many other social and economic fields, serving as a bridge between the state and academic spheres.

Furthermore, LUPS is dedicated to enhancing its international relations in line with the principle outlined by its motto, thereby playing a key role in sharing knowledge among nations, extending beyond traditional diplomacy. Sheikh Khalid bin Hilal Al-Maawali earned the title of Honorary Citizen for his outstanding and exemplary work for Omani society over many years, and today's event demonstrates our commitment to strengthening international relations – concluded the Rector of the university.

In the laudation for the university's newest honorary citizen, Barnabás Fodor, the Hungarian Ambassador to Oman, spoke about Oman, known traditionally as the home of Sinbad the Sailor, being renowned for its security, peace, diplomatic strength, and stability in a region where strife is common. The Sultanate of Oman reconciles centuries-old traditions with innovations. This progressiveness is epitomized by the Council of State led by Sheikh Khalid, which, among other things, makes its work transparent through the internet and social media, engaging in dialogue with citizens for the country's welfare, believing in governance based on dialogue and focused on development.

Although there is a significant geographical distance between our countries, we share numerous common values, such as peace, cooperation, faith in the power of diplomacy, and the importance of developing economic and cultural ties. As part of the latter, 50 Omani students can participate in Hungarian education through the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship program, while 30 Hungarians can study in Oman – explained Ambassador Fodor.

At the event, Sheikh Khalid bin Hilal Al-Maawali expressed great joy and honor in receiving the title of Honorary Citizen from the university. He stated that the hospitality surrounding him and his delegation in Budapest demonstrates the friendship between the two nations. He added that following the opening of the Omani-Hungarian embassies in 2019 and 2021, the time has come to establish relationships beyond diplomacy, focusing on economic, tourism, cultural, and particularly higher education cooperation.

In this regard, they count on the assistance of LUPS, especially the Faculty of Water Sciences, as Oman faces numerous challenges due to climate change, although the Sultanate is committed to maintaining the balance between nature and the economy, and to sustainable development. He emphasized his gratitude for the initiation of student exchange programs between the two countries. Finally, the Sheikh also elaborated on Oman's advantageous geographical location, security, and economic opportunities, which have already attracted the interest of investors from numerous countries, providing Hungarians with opportunities in his homeland, a matter he discussed with Minister of National Economy Márton Nagy just before this event.

Text by Tibor Sarnyai

Photo by Dénes Szilágyi