O



Oman  


The sultanate of Oman covers 309,500 km2 and is located on the Arabian peninsula. The town of Sohar was once a great maritime port and birthplace of fictional hero Sinbad the Sailor from Arabian Nights. 3,632,444 people live in Oman, some of them are Bedouin people who live in the Wahiba Sands region. The coastal region is home of five-star hotels and beach resorts.  
Dereaze (near Ibri) is the oldest known human settlement in the area, dating back as many as 7,600 BC according  to  the artefacts. The present-day name of the country, Oman, is believed to originate from the Arab Azd tribes who migrated to its territory from the Uman region of Yemen in 130 AD.  Many such tribes settled in Oman, making a living by fishing, herding or stock breeding, and many present day Omani families are able to trace their ancestral roots to other parts of Arabia. The area came under control of the Parthian empire (Iran) and the Persian empire (Iran)Islam arrived in the 6th century via the Persian Empire. the Portuguese arrived in Oman and occupied Muscat for a 143-year period, from 1507 to 1650 competing with the Ottoman Empire. In 1741,  the leader of an Omani tribe, who began the current line of ruling sultans pushed the Ottomans out of Oman. Except for a brief Persian invasion in the late 1740s, Oman has been self-governing ever since  From the late 17th century, the Sultanate of Oman was a powerful empire competing with Portugal and Britain for influence in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.  The port of Muscat was one of the most important trading ports of the Indian Ocean.  At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to modern-day Iran and Pakistan and as far south as Zanzibar (now Tanzania)which was a valuable property as the main slave market  of the Swahili Coast.  Then  Oman's power declined in the 20th century, and pursued more isolationist policies - there was a rebellion in Dhofar (1965-1975) which the sultan's army defeated with help of forces from Britain, Iran, Jordan and Pakistan.  Oman abolished slavery in 1970. In 1997 Sultan Qaboos decreed that women could vote for, and stand for election too. In 2002, voting rights were extended to all citizens over the age of 21, and the first elections to the Consultative Assembly under the new rules were held in 2003. yet the Sultan still rules by decree.   There have been numerous reports of torture and other inhumane forms of punishment perpetrated by Omani security forces on protesters and detainees. In 2012, 26,000 migrant workers are still working under slave-like conditions as domestic servants and there is a high suicide rate.
The adult literacy rate in 2010 was 86.9%. Oman has modest oil reserves.  Nevertheless, in 2010  Oman was ranked most improved nation in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years. This is because significant portion of its economy is tourism and trade of fish, dates, and certain agricultural produce and solely oil-dependent economy.
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