Inspiration for all seasons!
The Book – The Answer!
By Lakshmi Kothaneth
The Oman Daily Observer Features Team
June 4th 2018
See Video Here –
Lakshmi Kothaneth –
So here comes the day since I first met Sheikh Khalfan al Esry to the day I hold the book with his knowledge and wisdom called The Answer with Sheikh Khalfan al Esry. Writing the book has made me look back at the number of years he dedicated his time, a man’s true wealth, for others. A person walks on this earth and what he does from point A to B is a whole lot of choices and circumstances.
I remember seeing Sheikh Khalfan for the first time. I had seen him being interviewed by the late Abir Thanir, a popular radio broadcaster. But this was different because Radio Sultanate of Oman’s then director, Shakir al Araimi had just assigned me with a new programme called ‘Dialogue on Islam,’ for the month of Ramadhan.
Sheikh Khalfan al Esry, tall, all in white, broke the ice with humour, which I later discovered is his signature style. I also learnt that he is one of the most organised persons I would ever meet. He never consulted a secretary but he was managing time between official work, giving lectures, counselling and media. And he liked technology.
None of the listeners wanted the programme to end. After Ramadhan, as per listeners’ request, the programme was on air on a weekly basis. Over the years as the programme grew with a focus on life and spirituality, we renamed the programme as Body, Mind and Soul. This is because the emphasis was more on striking a balance between the three.
Even in his busiest of days he took time to share wisdom and thoughts. He read and read. He listened to many lectures himself, which all put together had made him a renowned international speaker.
The most important part was that he understood and accepted other cultures so he knew where his listeners were coming from when they asked questions. He loved to learn languages so when he spoke a few lines in their respective languages, sure enough the listener with the question was thrilled and felt at home. I met him that very first day for the programme in the radio studio as an engineer from Petroleum Development of Oman, who was also an accomplished scholar in Islam.
Every Ramadhan became an enriched experience. I asked him why so many people wanted his time during Ramadhan and he said: “It is because this is the month when people go through soul cleansing experiences. They connect with the soul naturally because of what they follow in the month and so they want answers for the questions to move forward in life.”
He was an expert on health, safety and environment as well as human resources. His knowledge led him naturally towards road safety. When he spoke, people just wanted to listen and adapt. That is a compelling talent.
I had met him as an Engineer years ago and I had bid goodbye to an international businessman and an entrepreneur accomplishing his vision, a scholar who did not hesitate even for a minute to nurture others to find their true inspiration. The last project to do with Sheikh Khalfan was with the digital media at Oman Observer with the programme, ‘Life a Journey’ on omanobserver.om. Maybe we could have done more and we discussed new ideas to reach out to everyone. But I suppose time has its own agenda.
The legacy he has left behind is ‘Sheikh Khalfan’. He had impressed the youth and motivated them. But most importantly he has taught us the importance of giving. Giving in various forms — wealth, time, knowledge and the list is endless. Everyone can be empowered one way or the other.
And we have to give back to the community and the nation. We need to find our true call and try our best. Time is precious. Positive outlook results in positive outcome.
Yes, there is no call to make and get the advice. He will be missed. But his wisdom is here to stay.
It is time for us to continue the legacy. The answer is in your hands!
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