Oman History and Politics

The early days

Oman is located on the Arabian Peninsula. The first traces of settlement date back to around 3000 to 9000 BC. There is little evidence of this, most of the conclusions we can get from grave finds and grave goods. As early as 3000 BC The north of Oman, in which there were copper deposits, was connected to Mesopotamia, the Mesopotamia.

Copper and incense

Around 2200 to 1800 BC The trade in copper flourished. After that, the people probably moved increasingly through the country again as nomads. A trade network extended across the Mediterranean to India. We do not know exactly how the country was politically structured at this early stage. One suspects, however, a principality or kingdom of Oman on parts of the national territory of today’s state of Oman. After the Indus culture in 1800 BC B.C. went down, there was probably no more trade. Mesopotamia got its copper from other countries.

Another important article of trade was frankincense. Oman is also often called “the land of frankincense”designated. The time of the great incense caravans, which transported the precious goods all over the world, ended around AD 575.

Spread of Islam

From 630 onwards, Islam began to spread in the region. Several imamates, that is, small principalities, were established, with the imams, who represented different branches of Islam, repeatedly fighting each other.

Middle age

In the Middle Ages, as a country located in Middle East according to allunitconverters, Oman gained importance in the area of ​​trade. During this time, different dynasties alternated as rulers over the country. Defense fortresses were built. Sometimes imams ruled the country again, but there were also times without their rule.

Portugal’s rule was short-lived

In 1507 Portuguese seafarers who had recently discovered the sea route to India appeared in Oman. They conquered many cities, such as today’s capital Muscat or the city of Suhar. But they couldn’t hold out in the long run. As early as the middle of the 17th century, the Yaruba dynasty drove out the foreign conquerors and promoted the development of Oman into an important power in the Indian Ocean.

Beginning of the Said dynasty

Ahmad ibn Said (1746–1783) finally prevailed against external enemies and became the founder of the Said dynasty, which ruled Oman to this day. First of all, peace returned and the area of ​​dominion was expanded over parts of East Africa. The spice island of Zanzibar was also part of Oman’s sphere of influence.

Trade in slaves

The slave trade in particular flourished during this period. In 1861, Zanzibar was separated from Oman again and the independent sultanates of Oman and Zanzibar emerged. Since the slave trade was banned and the income from the flourishing business with the spices of Zanzibar was also lost, Oman was weakened and became heavily dependent on Great Britain, from which it was only able to break free again in 1958.

Said ibn Taimur

The Sultan Said ibn Taimur, who was Sultan of Oman and Muscat from 1932 to 1970, played an important role in the history of Oman. He also ruled over parts of what is now the United Arab Emirates. During his reign around 1960, oil was discovered on the territory of Oman, which led to the country’s wealth.

Qaboos ibn Said

However, the country remained highly isolated, which only changed when the sultan’s son, Qabus ibn Said, took power from 1970 and led the state into the modern age. He was able to put the money that flowed abundantly from the income from oil production into the expansion of his country.

Movements like the “Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman and the Arabian Gulf” tried to put on a coup, but were ultimately pacified with peace. Fearing further uprisings, the ruler leaned heavily on the USA and sought protection there. The USA established military bases in Oman for this purpose.

Oman in the Gulf Wars

In the First Gulf War between Iraq and Iran, Oman retained its neutrality and did not intervene. In the Second Gulf War, however, Oman joined the alliance against Iraq.

Haitham ibn Tariq, the current Sultan of Oman

Today the political system is still an absolute monarchy. At the head of the state stands like a king a sultan. The Sultan Qaboos ibn Said, who ruled from 1970 to 2020, was followed by his cousin, the 65-year-old Minister of Culture, Haitham ibn Tariq.

Oman History

Past and present

Backward Oman – modern Oman

For a long time, Oman was one of the most backward countries of all. It wasn’t that long ago that the Sultan didn’t even leave phone lines. There were only three schools in the country and only boys were allowed to attend them. The road network only comprised a few kilometers of asphalt road. The Omanis had neither electricity nor water in their simple houses, which were mostly made of clay.

Even sunglasses were not allowed in Oman

Sunglasses were also taboo in a country where the sun almost always shines. In 1970, Sultan Qaboos ibn Said, born in 1940, took power in Oman at the age of 30 and slowly led the country into modern times. He had schools, hospitals and mosques as well as roads, docks and airfields built. Most of the money flowed into the treasury from the oil revenues. For all his benevolence and prudent government, he was still an absolutely ruling monarch.

He died in 2020 and was succeeded by Haitham ibn Tariq, who, like he was previously, is Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, Finance Minister and also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. However, there are plans to transform the monarchy into a constitutional monarchy.

One problem for a long time was that the succession had not yet been settled. In 2015, the then sultan fell seriously ill and the Omanis repeatedly feared for his health. His government, which was authoritarian but also skilled in foreign policy, had brought security to the country. So one now hopes that his successor can maintain this security.