Oman and Muscat were once separate kingdoms, Oman inland and Muscat by the sea. After the Portuguese conquered Muscat and the Omanis drove them out, the kingdoms were united under the name and dynasty of Oman and with the capital and maritime empire of Muscat.
This maritime empire was quite huge in the 19th century, even its capital was moved to Zanzibar at one time. The British take Zanzibar and the Tanzania coast from Oman.
As a result of the huge maritime empire, a considerable percentage of Afro-Omans with black skin and African features have remained to this day.
There are actually three main schools of thought in Islam, Sunnis, Shiites and Ibadis. Ibadahs are almost exclusively in Oman . Ibadis claim to be much more tolerant of different faiths and schools of thought in Islam than other Muslim groups.
While with other Muslims you die, suffer in hell there for as long as you have to and then go to heaven (or at least it’s a matter of interpretation), Ibadis believe in eternal hell.
The old capital of inland Oman is called Nizwa and has an ancient castle with the thickest tower imaginable.
Omanis dress all in white with a specific cap. No towels or turbans, just a colorful hat.
The Omani women wear black if they are older and a black or colorful headscarf if they are younger. Faces are rarely hidden.
“Oman is bad with no car, man, why you no car? Now you torture!” shouts a driving instructor I took for a taxi.
Islam obliges everyone to help those in need, so if you wave at a car that is not a taxi, it stops again and takes you somewhere and does not ask for your money.
In Oman, they know that sidewalks exist and are a good thing, but where and when they are put and how they connect to each other definitely eludes them. Perhaps as a consequence of 7.
Not to mention the footpaths.
Or public transport in Oman and Muscat
The only railway in Oman is a 500-meter railway to the entrance of a cave, the only train has a drawing of a blind fish with an Omani cap.
The cave is quite interesting, but maybe only for cave lovers;
There are very few places in the world where Arab culture and civilization has not been harassed by something, endless wars, sectarian division, crusaders, Mongols, colonizers, dictators, civil wars, bombs, armies, Islamists. One such interesting place to visit in Oman.
Oman is dotted with mud towns, most of which are abandoned, but some of which are still inhabited today.
It is easy to get thirsty in Oman and liquid shops are not found satisfactorily often.
Oman is on the route of frankincense and has always been one of its largest producers, resulting in the region being historically rich, not just in oil as is typical.
“Before Corona, Mohammed was a palace guide for VIPs. Now Mohammed drives a taxi. Is that fair, I ask? Yes, it is fair, because God willed it. And Mohammed and his family are alive and vaccinated and he didn’t get sick, and the VIPs will come again” . “Oh, you don’t like museums, do you? The Omani government has poured millions into this museum, both from their own money and from our taxes, so that YOU can see Omani culture and history. SO GET INSIDE NOW!” The same Muhammad that. Erm… I went.
Until 1970, Oman used Indian rupees and Austrian thalers as currency.
With a price of about 2 euros to one rial, the Omani rial is the third most expensive currency in the world.
Democracy is not revered in Oman. Because it is not the people’s job to rule, but the Sultan’s. I went to know what is good for everyone – the Omanis ask.
Oman is one of two remaining sovereign sultanates in the world, the other being Brunei.
In 2020, the longest-reigning leader of the Islamic world, Sultan Qaboos of Oman, died at the age of 60 after 50 years as Sultan.
Sultan Qaboos is revered almost as a god for everything he has done, every modernization in Oman is his work, the money that has flowed is also attributed to him.
Sultan Qaboos also built the most beautiful mosque in the world. I don’t know why exactly it happened in Oman, but yes, there is an incredibly beautiful 20-year-old mosque.
Sultan Qaboos is also an icon among the Arab LGBT world and possibly the first monarch of an Arab country ever to be gay. It’s not official, of course (eternal hell and such).
Despite the veneration of Qaboos, in Oman locals can be critical of the government, taxes, the military and any such things that are completely taboo in most other monarchies and Arab countries. I give it to the enlightened monarch.
In Oman, police and military and others in uniform are not as intrusive as in other places. And things have several entrances.
Muscat is an incredibly spread out city. Good thing there are buses after all.
The oldest districts of Muscat are the tiniest in narrow gaps between the dry mountain and the sea. It creates a very cozy feeling.
In fact, it is wonderful that Oman has not chosen to be like Dubai, although there are similarities, the direction of development is not towards pseudo-western super-capitalism, and thus our world becomes more colorful, diverse and interesting for everyone!