Sam Beer | Editor for The Middle East
Hometown: the Netherlands (previously, Oman)
Before coming to Lawrenceville, I hadn’t experienced living in the U.S.. My dad’s role in the oil industry led me all over the world. I have been a resident of the Netherlands, Malaysia, and before coming to Lawrenceville, Oman.
Oman offers a different perspective our understanding of what characterizes a successful state. It is a country far removed from the problems generally associated with The Middle East. Although Oman is neighbors with Yemen, a country torn by Civil War, Oman has been unaffected by terrorism and political instability. I have never witnessed any public animosity towards the government, and the Arab Spring has little influence in Oman. The people revere and respect the Sultan. Oman will not be a democratic nation for a very long time. Living in this environment has shown me the potential the Middle East has for stability.
Just a few decades ago, Oman was very isolationist and unwelcoming to western ideas and influence. The population was uneducated and ruled by a government always in conflict with its neighbors. Now, Oman works together with the U.S and the rest of the world.
Today, Oman is diversifying its economy and becoming more liberal, at the same time retaining Islam as an important part of its society. Oman is an example to the other countries in the Middle East that progress and Islam can co-exist. As Middle East editor, I want to bring our readers a perspective of the Middle East untainted by the stereotypes we all know of. While the Middle East is a very unstable region, it is more than a battleground for Jihadists and totalitarian dictators. I hope to focus on a wide range of aspects in the Middle East, and enlighten readers on not only the ongoing atrocities in the Middle East, but also the progress that is being seen in many of its countries.