On Wednesday, 16th December 2020, “Brunei Darussalam from the Eyes of Foreign Diplomats and their Families” exhibition was officially launched by Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna binti Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, the Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the Royal Regalia Museum in the Capital.
Upon arrival, Her Royal Highness and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, were greeted by The Honourable Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and the following heads of diplomatic missions who are also members of the exhibition organizing committee:
- His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al-Maskari, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sultanate of Oman.
- His Excellency Suat Akgun, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey.
- His Excellency Christian Ramage, Ambassador of the French Republic.
- Her Excellency Yoon Hyun Bong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea.
- His Excellency Christopher Montero, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines.
- Her Excellency Tiffany Anne McDonald, Australian High Commissioner.
The ceremony began with the recital of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa selamat led by Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Raja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Suhaili bin Haji Mohiddin.
In his welcoming remarks, His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al-Maskari, among other things expressed gratefulness to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam for consenting for the exhibition to be held at Royal Regalia Museum.
His Excellency the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, informed how the Diplomatic Corps was trying to organize the exhibition since the year 2018, by saying:
“The idea of setting up this exhibition was initiated on the year 2018 and ever since many attempts were made to bring it to fruition, until we realized that having an exhibition of such caliber requires combined efforts from many partners.
“Thus, the diplomatic corps thought to take on board two partners namely; the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), who both played a vital role in ensuring this long-awaited event finally takes place”.
His Excellency the Dean then expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports for generously consenting to transfer and organize the exhibition in other districts, while emphasizing that this notable gesture form the Ministry greatly contributed to the exhibition success and continuity.
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps also thanked Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) for sponsoring the event and reserved further praise for the participating diplomatic missions and the exhibition organizing committee.
Further enlivening the event was the screening of a short video showing selected photos on display at the exhibition.
Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna then consented to cut the ribbon to signify the launching of the photo exhibition that features rare glimpses of the surreal beauty and lifestyle of the Abode of Peace.
Prior to touring the exhibition Her Royal Highness was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Her Excellency Yoon Hyun Bong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea on behalf of the organizing committee.
Among those present were:
- The Honourable Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy.
- The Honourable Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism.
The Honorable minister of Culture, Youth and Sports said at the sideline of the event:
“We are very pleased to have been closely involved with the Diplomatic Corps in Brunei Darussalam in organizing this extraordinary exhibition that displays for the first time, how foreign diplomats and their families see Brunei Darussalam through the camera lens. I was very impressed with the photos on display, demonstrating wonderful expressions inspired by the way foreign diplomats and members of their families view Brunei Darussalam– our people, our scenery and our culture.”
The Honorable minister of Culture, Youth and Sports also congratulated the exhibition organizing committee on its success by saying:
“Congratulations and thank you to all those who were involved in the project, especially His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al Maskari, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and all members of the organizing committee”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mubashar H. Khokhar, the Managing Director and CEO of Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) said:
“As a bank that is Bruneian at Heart, we take great pride in supporting this exhibition. It’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words; the photos on display today give us all a unique view into how foreign diplomats and their families have been welcomed and made to feel like a part of the community, and I hope that everyone will take the opportunity to view and enjoy this exhibition”.