November 19 – Oman's Sultan's Birthday

Posted on November 19, 2016

In Oman, patriotism has a two-day celebration in November. Yesterday, Oman celebrated its 1650 independence from Portugal, and today the nation celebrates the birthday of Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said.

Born in 1940, Qaboos has been the sultan since he was 30 years old. I assumed that he became sultan when his father died or relinquished the crown, but actually Qaboos led a coup that removed his father from power!

That sounds bad, huh? I mean, why would Qaboos steal his father's crown and exile him to the United Kingdom?

Actually, it was a good move. Qaboos's father was Sultan Said bin Taimur. And Said may have suffered from sort of mental disorder near the end of his life. He apparently became a bit of a hermit, withdrawing from people and doing little to help his nation. When young Qaboos returned from the U.K., where he had gone to school and served in the British armed forces, Said put him under house arrest and arranged for his son to be able to see and talk to only a few people. And for the last 14 months before the coup, Said didn't see or speak to his son at all – even though they lived in the same palace!

Oman has a strategic position
on the Arabian peninsula.
In the meantime, Said's nation suffered. Lots of people didn't have enough to eat. The infant mortality rate was 75%! That means that three out of every four babies born died while still an infant! Almost nobody knew how to read and write, and there were only three schools in the whole nation. Heck, there were only six miles of paved road in the whole nation!

When Qaboos took over in 1970, he used the money from oil sales to modernize and develop the country. He was able to make his nation the “most improved” country in the world, according to the United Nations. And even though it has a fairly high-income economy, it also has a thriving tourism industry and a lively trade in fish, dates, and other agricultural products – so it is less likely to suffer from being too dependent on one non-renewable resource as most of its Arabic neighbors.

Check out Oman:
Ash Sharqiyah Region

Oman has several castles and forts

Musandam Dibba


Wahiba Sands
Above and all further photos in this post
are taken in Muscat, the capital of Oman.
Grand Mosque

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