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lauantai 8. elokuuta 2015

Oman, Cool Facts #57

<= 56. Mauritania                                                                                                       58. Qatar =>

1. Powerful Oman

In 1698 the Imam of Oman, Saif bin Sultan conquered Mombasa and Sansibar from the Portuguese. In the 1800s Oman had strengthened and they became a regional power. Oman possessed land areas in Persia, Baluchistan, Pakistan and on the East African coast including the Comoros islands.
In 1837 the Sultan of Oman even moved their capital to Sansibar, which belongs to the current Tanzania.
Sansibar was the economic and power center of East Africa which was led by the Arabs who also used it as a slave trade post.

2. Paranoid Ruler Sa'id ibn Taimur

In 1959 the Sultan of Oman, Sa'id ibn Taimur united the country which had split into two. The inlands were ruled by the Imam and the coast was under the Sultan's power. In 1966 ibn Taimur survived a murder attempt after which he became really paranoid. He banned the usage of glasses and  grounded his son Qaboos bin Said al-Said.

In 1970 Qaboos superseded then his father with the help of the British. The following year Oman declared itself fully independent, changing the flag at the same time. Sultan Qaboos has been the ruler of Oman since the overthrow of his father.

Said ibn Taimur

3. Strait of Hormuz

The Americans got the license to use the military base on the Masirah island when the British had dismantled their base in the late 1970s. From the Masirah island, USA monitors the Strait of Hormuz, through which a huge part of the world's crude oil is transported. About 20% of the world's petroleum passes through the strait which is the reason why the Strait of Hormuz is a major strategic location for international trade.

4. Stable Arab country

Oman is one of the rare stable Arab countries, the Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said has modernized the country and used the oil profits to develop the country. Oman has free healthcare, compulsory education for both boys and girls, which have improved the living conditions.

The human rights situation isn't good in Oman and the remote country is still quite closed from the outside world but otherwise there are no political risks which would threat the ruling Albusaid Dynasty's power.

Qaboos bin Said (right) meeting Queen Elizabeth

5. Donkeys and the Freedom of Speech in Oman

How are donkeys and the freedom of speech interconnected ? Well in Oman donkeys are used to express people's anti-regime views. Oman is an absolute monarchy and the Sultan doesn't tolerate any criticism. Criticism against the Sultan and the government is even prohibited by the law. People who violate this law will be fined or put into jail. This is the reason why donkeys carry billboards expressing the discontent of the people against the regime.


600s Arabs spread Islam in the area
1000s Sultan Bani Nabhad's dynasty ruled the area for the following 500 years
1507 The Portuguese conquer Masqat on the coast
1650 Portugal withdraws from the area as the Ottoman Empire supports the Al Ya'arub dynasty
1698 Imam of Oman, Saif bin Sultan conquered Mombasa and Sansibar from the Portuguese
1741 Ahmed bin Said conquers Masqat and ends the Ottoman rule by establishing the Sultanate which has been in power until these days
1800s In the beginning of the century Oman occupied areas in Persia, current Pakistan and on the East African coast
1837 The Sultan of Oman moved the capital to Sandbar
1900s The tribes rose against the Sultan of Masqat with the Imam of Oman
1920 The Imam who had proclaimed himself the leader was murdered
1954 Sultan Said bin Timur ended the autonomy of the inner parts of Oman
1960s The Sultan gets help from the British and Iran defeating the leftist guerrilla movement in Dhofar in the south 
1970 Qaboos bin Said al-Said overthrows his father from power
2003 The Consultative Counsil is elected the first time in public elections
2005 Islamist group coup attempt which is prevented
2011 Arab Spring spread to Oman, the Sultan promised to create jobs and raise the salaries


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