TAISM Remembers the 1998 Visit of Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush
Former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, whose death is being mourned in the United States this week, holds a special place in the hearts of the community at The American International School of Muscat (TAISM) and many people in the Sultanate of Oman.
Twenty years ago, on December 3, 1998, two very special guests, H.H. Sayyid Mansour bin Majed Al Said, the personal representative of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, and former President George H.W. Bush, graciously attended the ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone for The American International School of Muscat (TAISM). Months before, U.S. Ambassador Frances D. Cook, had formally approached His Majesty Sultan Qaboos regarding the TAISM project. Within weeks she received wonderful news: a plot of land had been graciously granted for the purpose of building an American school. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s very generous donation of land in Ghala made it possible for TAISM to have a permanent home. A new purpose-built school campus was soon to be constructed on this site.
At the Ceremony on that day in December of 1998, U.S. Ambassador Frances Cook welcomed the guests to the special event:
“I am pleased and proud to welcome you to this celebration of great importance to both my country and the Sultanate - the laying of the foundation stone of The American International School of Muscat (TAISM). I am particularly pleased that an individual who is much respected in this region and around the world, former President George H.W. Bush, has agreed to participate in this important occasion. Former President Bush symbolizes the friendship and respect between our two countries, and it is especially fitting that he inaugurate this new expression of the depth of our relationship - the home of the first school in the Sultanate providing an American education.”
President Bush then told the guests, “I want to extend my personal thanks to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos for his gracious donation of land of the school and the many donors who made TAISM a reality. I also want to recognize the many parents and students who volunteered so much of their time and many talents to this ambitious project. It is my hope that The American International School of Muscat will serve to strengthen the bonds between the people of Oman and the people of the United States of America.”
Today, The American International School of Muscat (TAISM) resides on this beautiful campus in Ghala hosting 750 students, representing the United States and 62 other nationalities. The school recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Kevin Schafer, TAISM Director