Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain

May 04 through May 11, 2012


Oman's traveling exhibition "Religious Tolerance: Islam in the Sultanate of Oman" was brought to the distinguished Complutense University in Madrid by Sheikh Hilal bin Salim Al-Ma'amari, the Sultanate's Ambassador to Spain, and was hosted in the Faculty of the Arts, under the aegis of the Director of the Arabic and Islamic Studies Department, Dr. Juan Martos.



The opening ceremony was attended by Ambassador Hilal Al-Ma'amari, ambassadors from the Gulf region and other countries, the Director-General for International Cooperation and Relations of the Spanish Ministry of Justice, invited guests, and more than 100 university faculty, staff, and students.

Opening remarks by Damaso Lopes, Chancellor of Complutense University, hailed the religious tolerance in the Sultanate and its respect for religion. Chancellor Lopes said the Sultanate has played and is still playing an important role in disseminating Islam through religious tolerance and respect for other peoples' cultures and religions. He added that the university, since its establishment, has had a department for languages including Arabic, in a bid to promote understanding of Arabic culture and religion.


The exhibition, now at its 17th destination, is organised by Oman's Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs within the framework of its continuous endeavours to promote communication among cultures, religions and peoples. Dr. Mohammed bin Said al Ma'amari, General Supervisor of Foreign Exhibitions and Scientific Advisor to Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, said the exhibition, since its launch in April 2011, aims at finding a common ground to connect peoples and civilizations.

The opening ceremony included a documentary film on religious tolerance in Oman. The documentary, which was prepared in conjunction with this exhibition, highlights examples of religious tolerance in the Sultanate, as well as depicting religious practices in every day life in a modern Islamic country. The exhibition consists of 20 panels which describe Oman and showcase elements of the Islamic religion, including the role of woman in society. There is also a catalogue in Spanish, which provide accurate and transparent information about Ibadhi Islam.


The Complutense University was founded by Cardinal Cisneros in the ancient town of Complutum, the present day Alcalá de Henares, by a Papal Bull granted by Pope Alexander VI in 1499. Its history can be traced back to 1293, when Sancho IV of Castile created the Estudio de Escuelas Generales de Alcalá, which two centuries later became Cisneros' Complutense University.

In the academic year 1509-1510 there were five Faculties: Arts and Philosophy, Theology, Canon Law, Letters and Medicine. In 1836 during the reign of Isabel II, the University was moved to Madrid. In 1927, at the height of the ‘Silver Age' in Spanish culture, teachers at the Complutense included José Ortega y Gasset, Manuel García Morente, Luis Jiménez de Asúa, Santiago Ramón y Cajal and Blas Cabrera.


Article OmanObserver (pdf)