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Oman (Listeni/oʊˈmɑːn/ oh-maan; Arabic: ‫ عمان‬ʻUmān), officially the Sultanate of Oman (Arabic

:
‫ سلطنة ععامان‬Salt ṭanat ʻUmān), is an Arab state in Southwest Asia, on the southeast coast of the
Arabian Peninsula, where it holds a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian
Gulf. The nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the
west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast
is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The
Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait
of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries.
From the late 17th century the Omani Sultanate was a powerful empire, vying with Portugal and
Britain for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. At its peak in the 19th century, Omani
influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to Iran and modern-day Pakistan, and
as far south as Zanzibar (today part of Tanzania).[7] As its power declined in the 20th century, the
sultanate came under the influence of the United Kingdom, although Oman was never formally
part of the British Empire, or a British protectorate.
Omani people are ethnically diverse,[8] consisting of Arabs, ethnic Balochis, Swahilis, ethnic Lurs
(who speak Kumzari), Hindus, and Mehri people. The largest non-Arab Omani community are the
Balochi, an Iranian people following the Sunni faith.[9] At least 12 different languages are native
to Omani citizens.[10] Oman's official religion is Ibadi Islam.
Oman is a republican government in which the Sultan of Oman exercises ultimate authority, but
its parliament has some legislative and oversight powers.[11] It is a member of the United
Nations, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the Arab
League, and has long standing military and political ties with the United Kingdom and the United
States.[12]
Unlike its resource-rich neighbors, Oman has modest oil reserves, ranking at 25th globally.[13]
[14] Nevertheless, in 2010 the UNDP ranked Oman as the most improved nation in the world in
terms of development during the preceding 40 years. Additionally, Oman is categorized as a highincome economy and ranks as the 59th most peaceful country in the world

At Aybut Al Auwal in the Dhofar region of Oman a site was discovered in 2011 containing more
than 100 surface scatters of stone tools belonging to a regionally specific African lithic industry –
the late Nubian Complex – known previously only from the northeast and Horn of Africa. Two
optically stimulated luminescence age estimates place the Arabian Nubian Complex at 106,000
years old. This supports the proposition that early human populations moved from Africa into
Arabia during the Late Pleistocene.[17]
Dereaze, located in the city of Ibri, is the oldest known human settlement in the area, dating back
as many as 8,000 years to the late Stone Age.[18] Archaeological remains have been discovered
here from the Stone Age and the Bronze Age; findings have included stone implements, animal
bones, shells and fire hearths, with the later dating back to 7615 BC as the oldest signs of human
settlement in the area. Other discoveries include hand-molded pottery bearing distinguishing preBronze Age marks, heavy flint implements, pointed tools and scrapers.
On a mountain rock-face in the same district, cave paintings have been discovered. Similar
drawings have also been found in the Wadi Sahtan and Wadi Bani Kharus areas of Rustaq. They
consist of human figures carrying weapons and being confronted by wild animals. Siwan in Haima
is another local Stone Age site where archaeologists have found arrowheads, knives, chisels and
circular stones, which may have been used to hunt wild game.
Portuguese colonization[edit]

a fact reflected by the decision of the 19th century Sultan of Oman. 18th and 19th centuries[edit] The Sultan's Palace in Zanzibar.[note 1][28] After regaining control of Muscat. when one of them.[31] Relations . known as Oman. near the present-day border of Iran. They continue to rule to this day. as it exists now. from 1507 to 1650. during the fight for control of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. the Portuguese arrived in Oman and occupied Muscat for a 143-year period. housing the garrison of a Portuguese settlement at Mombasa. Sa'id ibn Sultan. Under the terms of the British-brokered Treaty of Seeb of 1920. Their fortress still remains. Except for a brief Persian invasion in the late 1740s. Zanzibar influences in the Comoros archipelago in the Indian Ocean indirectly introduced Omani customs to the Comorian culture.[29] In 1913. at the mouth of the Gulf of Oman. was granted sovereignty over Gwadar. Thereafter the Omanis easily ejected the Portuguese from Zanzibar and from all other coastal regions north of Mozambique. which was once Oman's capital and residence of its Sultans. Muscat. separate the country into two distinct regions: the interior. the sultan recognised the autonomy of the interior. defeated ruler of Muscat. pressed down the Swahili Coast. inherited Muscat and Oman. but were themselves pushed out about a century later. These influences include clothing traditions and wedding ceremonies. of which the Jebel Akhdar is a part. Oman. Oman's Saiad Sultan. The other son. to make it his main place of residence in 1837. Thuwaini. with the help of the Somali Ajuran Sultanate. where remnants of their colonial architectural style still exist.[27] No foreign power controlled the entirety of what is now Oman. in 1741. A major obstacle to his progress was Fort Jesus. Rivalry between his two sons was resolved. and the coastal area dominated by the capital. Majid. After a two-year siege. Rebellious tribes eventually drove out the Portuguese. In 1783. In need of an outpost to protect their sea lanes. who began the current line of ruling sultans. Imam Ghalib Al Hinai was the elected Imam of the Imamate of Oman in May 1954.[30] Reign of Sultan Said[edit] The rule of Sultan Said bin Taimur was characterised by a feudal and isolationist approach.[26] The Ottoman Turks captured Muscat from the Portuguese again between 1581–88.A decade after Vasco da Gama's successful voyage around the Cape of Good Hope and to India in 1497–98. this sovereignty was continued (via an appointed wali. control of the country split. Saif bin Sultan. The Persians invaded Oman in 1737. The Sultan of Muscat would be responsible for the external affairs of Oman. by the leader of a Yemeni tribe. the Portuguese built up and fortified the city. Sa'id built impressive palaces and gardens in Zanzibar. Zanzibar was a valuable property as the main slave market of the Swahili Coast. with the help of forceful British diplomacy. was never under the total sway of European colonization. Oman has been self-governing ever since. the Imam of Oman. the fort fell to bin Sultan in 1698. succeeded to Zanzibar and to the many regions claimed by the family on the Swahili Coast. An Ottoman fleet captured Muscat in 1552. The interior was ruled by Ibadite imams and the coastal areas by the sultan. In the 1690s. with colonial control restricted to a few strategic port cities. "governor") and close relations were maintained with the Emirs of Sindh. The Hajar Mountains. and became an increasingly important part of the Omani empire. They were driven out in 1749 when the Al Said dynasty came to power. The majority of the territory was always ruled by tribes. This coastal city is located in the Makran region of what is now the far southwestern corner of Pakistan.

fellowships. and Imam Ghalib were ruptured over a dispute concerning the right to grant oil concessions. Said bin Taimur. and the Sultan is a member of the Ibadi community. [32] Colonel David Smiley. claimed that since the oil was in his territory. formed by migrant workers from Southeast Asia. on the other hand. Pakistan and the British Royal Air Force and Special Air Service. More than 50 different Christian groups. many smaller gurudwaras in makeshift camps exist and are recognised by the government.[87] Historically. Pakistan purchased the Gwadar enclave from Oman for $3 million. where the imamate's cause was promoted until the 1970s. Talib and Sulaiman managed to escape to Saudi Arabia. but about 75% of Omanis are Muslims. who had been seconded to organize the Sultan's Armed Forces. Sikhs. the Sultan claimed all dealings with the oil company as his prerogative. modernised the state's administration and introduced social reforms. at the time. [30] Imam Ghalib bin Ali along with his younger brother Talib bin Ali Al Hinai. they occupied the mountain in a surprise operation. managed to isolate the mountain in autumn 1958 and found a route to the plateau from Wadi Bani Kharu. Buddhists. Religion[edit] See also: Freedom of religion in Oman The Oman government does not keep statistics on religious affiliation. Zoroastrians. Baha'is. Sohar. was not included in Makran. and Salalah and include Roman Catholic. Non-Muslim religious communities include various groups of Hindus. which was created as a result of one of the first schisms within the religion. with the intervention of infantry (two companies of the Cameronians) and armoured car detachments from the British Army and aircraft of the RAF was able to suppress the rebellion. leftist forces were pitted against government troops. Ibadi has been one of the largest Omani religious sects. In July 1957. and assemblies are active in the Muscat metropolitan area. There is also a significant Sikh community in Oman. One of them is over a hundred years old. and Ibri. Sultan Said bin Taimur sent troops of the Muscat and Oman Field Force to occupy the main centres in Oman.[29] In December 1955. Jains. Though there are no permanent gurudwaras. and Christians.[30] Sultan Said bin Taimur. Sultan Said bin Taimur was deposed in a bloodless coup (1970) by his son Qaboos bin Said. The Government of India had signed an accord in 2008 with the Omani government to build a permanent gurudwara but little progress .between the Sultan of Muscat. The Imam. which began in 1965. anything dealing with it was an internal matter. Makran acceded to Pakistan and was made a district – although Gwadar. sustaining heavy casualties. and various Protestant congregations. led the Imamate of Oman in the Jebel Akhdar War against Sultan Said bin Taimur's attack on his lands.[57] of whom about three-quarters follow the Ibadi School of Islam. Jordan. the Sultan's forces were withdrawing. [33] On 27 January 1959. Eastern Orthodox. including Nizwa. who expanded Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces. however.[88] which is distinct from the Sunni and Shia denominations. the capital of the Imamate of Oman.[citation needed] In 1955. The uprising was finally put down in 1975 with the help of forces from Iran.[29] Under the terms of the 1920 treaty of Seeb. It is the only remaining expression of Kharijism. organizing along linguistic and ethnic lines. As the rebellion threatened to overthrow the Sultan's rule in Dhofar.[32] Talib's forces retreated to the inaccessible Jebel Akhdar.[33] The Treaty of Seeb was terminated and the autonomous Imamate of Oman abolished giving way to the present day Sultanate. Oil reserves were discovered in 1964 and extraction began in 1967. but they were repeatedly ambushed. In the Dhofar Rebellion.[33] Ghalib. Christian communities are centred in the major urban areas of Muscat. On 8 September 1958. A subsidiary of the Iraq Petroleum Company was intensely interested in some promising geological formations near Fahud. There are also communities of ethnic Indian Hindus and Christians.[note 2][34] Gwadar then became a tehsil in the Makran district. Muscat has two Hindu temples.

and some descendants of Sindhi sailors.[72] A significant number also speak Urdu. Bathari. as well as Balochi (the language of the Baloch people from Balochistan western-Pakistan. Oman was the first Persian Gulf state to have German taught as a third language.[92] Also spoken in Oman are Semitic languages only distantly related to Arabic. Swahili[7] is also widely spoken in the country due to the historical relations between Oman and Zanzibar.[91] Omani Sign Language is the language of the deaf community. due to the influx of Pakistani migrants during the late 1980s and the 1990s. eastern Iran.has been made on the matter. Harsusi. English is also widely spoken in the business community and is taught at school from an early age. Jibbali.[89] Languages[edit] Arabic is the official language of Oman. there are native speakers of different dialects. The dominant indigenous language is a dialect of Arabic although Baluchi and Swahili are also widely spoken. and southern Afghanistan) or offshoots of Southern Arabian. Although Arabic is Oman's official language. but closely related to Semitic languages in Eritrea and Ethiopia. Almost all signs and writings appear in both Arabic and English. . Mehri. Hobyot.[69] Balochi is widely spoken.[90] Endangered languages in Oman include Kumzari.