The work of Al Amana Centre is based on 125 years of collaboration between Christians and Muslims in the Sultanate of Oman. The Reformed Church in America began collaborating with the people in Oman already in the year 1892. In schools and hospitals, they worked together with Omanis to educate and treat people.
In the early 1970s Oman, along with neighboring countries of the Gulf, experienced rapid development funded by new wealth from oil revenue. Since Oman could now fund the hospital itself, His Majesty and the leaders of the Reformed Church in America met to discuss the transfer of the American hospitals in Muscat and Muttrah to the Sultan’s new Health Ministry. In 1973 the transfer was complete, concluding a nearly 70-year gift of health services from the Reformed Church in America to the people of Oman.
After the closing of the Al Amana School in 1987, the Reformed Church in America established an academic inter-faith center in Muscat as a response to growing polemic attitudes in the US and Europe toward Islam in general and the Arab world in particular. The purpose was to educate a broad cross-section of Christians in the US and Europe about Islam and Arab culture with the hope of fostering deeper mutual understanding and peace between West and East. Al Amana Centre was established with the approval and blessing of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, and our work could not be done without our partnership here in the Sultanate of Oman.
The world is in need of dialogue. In order to provide peaceful coexistence, prevent conflicts as well as resolve them, we need to understand each other. This means we are open for dialogue.
Dialogue is a process that can lead us to something new. Dialogue can be a process where people understand more about each other. Dialogue is entering to joint path with others. It means sharing thoughts about values and beliefs. But it also gives us a possibility to understand oneself better. Because many times through discussions with others you begin to understand yourself better.
Al Amana Centre has been living this reality for many years. We understand and value the importance of dialogue. This is also the reason we want to enhance possibilities for different groups to come together for a joint process of dialogue.
Al Amana Centre truly believes dialogue is a tool to create change in a peaceful manner. Dialogue is one of the most important tools to build connections between parties and groups. One of the priorities for Al Amana Centre is to lift up the role of religion in dialogue. We are supporting especially groups which want to discuss the role of religion in their situation. How reconciliation is being understood in different religions? Or how different religions understand forgiveness or some other essential points in people’s lives?
Al Amana Centre has always understood the role of religion in building peace, and we are seeking opportunities to support religious groups which want to engage in dialogue within themselves or with other groups and communities.
Al Amana Centre gives program participants a quiet and safe space to discuss and engage in dialogue. Al Amana Centre staff is available to support the participants and facilitate the dialogue process as needed. Al Amana Centre Staff can facilitate the discussions but it is also possible that Al Amana Centre is merely the venue for the dialogue and participants will facilitate the process by themselves. Read more about our programs and how you can participate.
In addition to hosting visitors to Oman, our staff members are involved in a variety of peace-building organizations and efforts. Al Amana Centre serves as the Secretary for the Gulf Churches Fellowship (GCF), an ecumenical council of church leaders from the Gulf region. Our team travels and speaks around the world in an effort to support and collaborate with our many partners.