Does that mean that the family were unanimous in their choice and, on opening the envelope, were happy to find that their choice coincided with the Sultan's wishes?The announcement came shortly before the funeral of Sultan Qabooswww.thenational.ae
"Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, 65 years old, has been sworn in after Oman’s Defence Council announced he would succeed the late Sultan Qaboos as ruler of Oman.
A tweet from an Omani Government account said that he had been sworn in "after a meeting of the family" and that the decision to appoint him reflected the wishes of Sultan Qaboos".
He’s supposed to be of a similar mind to his predecessor when it comes to foreign policy, etc.So what is the new Sultan like? I haven't heard much on Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said and his wiki page is "bare" to say the least. What direction will he go? will Oman stray one way or the other between the west and Iran or stay the sensible middle line it has been for the last 50 years?
It seems from local media that the family met and went straight for the envelope - a sort of ‘we’ll go with our distinguished late Sultan’s choice’ followed by a Oscars moment ... ‘and our new Sultan is <dramatic pause>...’Does that mean that the family were unanimous in their choice and, on opening the envelope, were happy to find that their choice coincided with the Sultan's wishes?
Or that the family failed to agree and resorted to opening the envelope?
I would really hope that it was the former option.
It used to be that all Oman taxi licences were held by ex Royal Oman Policemen (ROP) and that the franchise was part of the ROP Pension Fund. It was no secret that the taxis provide a great deal of intelligence to the "secret police". It was also amusing that every bar had a resident "undercover policeman" who stuck out like a sore thumb especially when drinking in national dress which was a big no-no.I enjoyed visiting Oman a few years back, although despite all the assertions of being very peaceful, the Police cars sitting around the back of various streets belied that with their "We could easy be an extra from Mad Max" look
Never met the guy, but it sounds like being around Arabist Brits in his formative years had a positive effect on an obviously intelligent and sensitive man.I managed to rack up 6 tours in Dhofar between 1971 and 1977 and witnessed the changes that Sultan Qaboos wrought to his country. Civil development, education, universal suffrage etc. And all this whilst fighting a war in the early years and walking a political and religious tightrope amidst Middle East turmoil.
He wasn't afraid to make difficult decisions (eg. the bombing of Hauf in PDRY when it needed to be) and although he was an absolute and autocratic ruler, he genuinely strove to raise the living conditions of his people in a country which, when he deposed his father in 1970, was a 14th Century basket case.
He is to be much admired for what he achieved in Oman, a beacon of stability in the ME and a great friend of UK.
I met him on several occasions and always found him charming and self-effacing. The UK has lost a great friend. RIP.
The 1970s called, they want their homophobia back.Qaboos was married, in fact his wife was a local Omai stunner. Trouble was he liked men rather than women. However being an enlightened Gay, he didn’t need to take the Stonewall route (and as indeed have many fellow Arrsers), and did not try and ram it down every bodies throat. He lived a dignified life, adhering to the religious rules and ensured that he was loved by his people. And I can imagine the morning period in Oman will be long and dignified (unlike the recent shenanigans over the Mad, bad Iraqi death machine) and his name will be venerated across the middle east. The succession will be smooth and without the rubbish that their African neighbours so often resort to.
Clearly his way of the world is a clear message, to our nascent Homosexual community, that you do not have to convert every dead famous historical figure and out them as a Poofter, in order to live a dignified acceptance for what you choose to be.
So what is the new Sultan like? I haven't heard much on Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said and his wiki page is "bare" to say the least. What direction will he go? will Oman stray one way or the other between the west and Iran or stay the sensible middle line it has been for the last 50 years?