Oman’s senior journalist Dr Ahmed Siddiqui pleads for more women’s empowerment

By Duncan Mlanjira

Express’ foreign correspondent, Dr. Ahmed Mohiuddin Siddiqui, believes that governments of the world need to cut down spending on weapons of mass destruction but instead they channel such resources in providing healthcare and medicines, especially for women and children.

Dr Ahmed Siddiqui said this when he was interviewed by renowned British radio host Adam Cole, for The Radio Oman FM English, as a recognition of this senior journalist and political analyst’s tenacious coverage of cancer associated awareness events in Oman and many parts of the world.

Renowned British radio host Adam Cole

Dr Ahmed Siddiqui, who covered the World Cancer Day held in Muscat by Oman Cancer Association (OCA) for Maravi Express, attracted the attention of Cole, the journalist who has been described by Radio Today UK December 10, 2015 as having a “fantastic pedigree that includes experience of UK and US radio and has previously enjoyed great success in his home town of Manchester. 

Cole is well known in the market and brings his heritage and creativity and it was but natural for the two media gurus to gel well and be on the same wave length.

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Here are the excerpts from the interview:

Adam Cole for Oman FM: Welcome to the programme to Dr. Ahmed Mohiuddin Siddiqui. It is lovely to meet you. You are a very, very interesting person. Tell us what have you been doing as part of the Oman Cancer Association (OCA)’s World Cancer Day?

Dr Ahmed: Thanks for your kind words. I am here to cover the World Cancer Day for Maravi Express, an online media platform in the Republic of Malawi, Africa. I have been covering cancer associated events in Oman. I used to report for The Moroccan Times. I have reported for India Tomorrow. I am reporting for Beyond Headlines, which is published from New Delhi.

Dr. Wahid Ali Said Al Kharousi receiving a
Maravi Express memento

Adam: You are a senior journalist and a political analyst, Dr. what are your areas of study for your PhD as feminism sounds a bit unusual for a male. Tell us a bit more about your area of study.

Dr Ahmed: Since times immemorial, women have been subjugated across the globe. A woman is the fulcrum of a family. You cannot wish away women, who are half of the planet and my area of study was feminism (in English Literature) because I wanted an egalitarian society, which we are all striving for. 

As you know, there are many women who suffer from cancer. This way feminism and cancer are related. You can help the cause of women and children. They need to be supported in a big way. 

A cancer awareness gathering in Oman

The governments of the world need to cut down on weapons, especially, the weapons of mass destruction. They should care about providing healthcare and medicines. People need healthcare and medicines. They do not need weapons.

Oman has set a shining example under His Majesty Late Sultan Qaboos. When he ascended the throne, there were hardly any hospitals. Not only he established a network of hospitals and health centres in Oman but he also gave a lot of importance to women. 

Dr. Wahid Ali Said Al Kharousi delivering his

That is why you have women ministers, pilots etc in Oman. So, Oman shows a window to the world and this is all because of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos’ wisdom and vision.

Adam: Where did you carry out your PhD studies, Dr. in which part of the world?

Dr Ahmed: I did my PhD from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. It is a 100-year old university.

Adam: Have you done any broadcasts for television talking about the areas of feminism or any other issues which you feel are interesting to talk about through the eyes of a political analyst?

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Kate
Laurell Ardern

Dr Ahmed: Yes. I have done a lot on women’s issues and political issues because women are connected and directly affected by conflicts, wherever, in the world. Though the men go to war, it is the women and children who suffer. So, I try to bring out these points in my discussions.

Adam: Once again, talking to Dr Ahmed Mohiuddin Siddiqui, originally from Hyderabad, India, on Oman FM today. Dr. in what areas do you feel some challenges of the world have been overcome internationally, say in the last 10 years?

Dr Ahmed: Literacy and a part of healthcare and different voluntary Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are seeing better days. But, a lot more needs to be done. This is a continuous march. We cannot rest on past laurels. 

A family revolves around a woman. So, educate the girl child. This is the best solution to avoid (world’s) problems. Put more women in places of authority especially in educational institutions and decision making bodies. 

We have shining examples of women doing wonderful jobs like the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda (Kate Laurell Ardern). More and more number of countries are choosing women as the prime minister or the president. 

When a woman is the prime minister or the president of a country, you can be rest assured that there will be lesser crimes against women. Women need dignity and power.

Dr. Ahmed Siddiqui is a political commentator of the Middle East and articulates his views on the Sultanate of Oman Television. He has written for national and international media from: Hyderabad, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, London, Muscat, Rabat, Tunis, Kuala Lumpur and Lilongwe.