Oman - Where Time Stood Still


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This is a presentation I deliver to help introduce foreign workers in Oman to local culture and society.

Bridge the cultural divide.

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Oman - Where Time Stood Still

  1. 1. OMAN where time stood still National Day 18 th of November
  2. 2. Today’s Topics <ul><li>Arabs </li></ul><ul><li>GCC </li></ul><ul><li>Oman </li></ul><ul><li>Regions </li></ul><ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Short Video </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Presenter <ul><li>Working in private sector with expats since 1993 </li></ul><ul><li>Always lived in Oman </li></ul><ul><li>Fully educated in Oman (Western) </li></ul><ul><li>Travelled (a little) </li></ul><ul><li>An Omani Product </li></ul>
  4. 4. Arab World 22 Countries 325 Million People Two Continents Borders drawn by French & British colonial powers in 19th & 20th century
  5. 5. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) 6 Countries (1981) Similar People Similar Social Structure But still different to each other
  6. 6. Oman – National Emblem
  7. 7. Oman – Flags
  8. 8. Oman - Map Borders 4 countries
  9. 9. Oman - Regions 9 Region/Governorate formed of Wilayats (totaling 61) further divided into Niyabats.
  10. 10. Fact! (maybe) <ul><li>Oman's Sultans are included in the US Constitution as to be received by the President. The rest of the rulers are received by  the Secretary of State. This is because The Sultanate of Oman was  The First Country to Recognize The formation of the USA & Send an Ambassador to the USA. </li></ul>Sultan Said bin Taimur with president Roosevelt in 1938
  11. 11. The Facts <ul><li>Relations with the British date back to 1798 </li></ul><ul><li>Relations with France date back to 1786  </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomatic ties with US since 1833 – first Arab nation </li></ul><ul><li>U . S . consulate was maintained in Muscat from 1880 </li></ul><ul><li>Close relations with Indian subcontinent </li></ul><ul><li>Close relations with East African Coast </li></ul>
  12. 12. History <ul><li>1507 - Portugese occupy Oman </li></ul><ul><li>1650 - Expulsion of Portugese </li></ul><ul><li>1737 - Persians invade </li></ul><ul><li>1749 - Ahmed Bin Said becomes the first Al-Busaid imam </li></ul><ul><li>1750 - 1841 Al Busaid Dynasty create an empire that rules from Parts of Indian subcontinent to the east coast of Africa </li></ul><ul><li>1842 - Zanzibar is split from Muscat and Oman </li></ul>
  13. 13. History <ul><li>1843 - Sultanate Muscat & Oman created </li></ul><ul><li>1888 - Sultan Faisal bin Turki takes throne </li></ul><ul><li>1915 - Interior tribes ride on Muscat </li></ul><ul><li>1920 - Treaty of Sib is signed </li></ul><ul><li>1932 - Sultan Said bin Taimur assumes throne </li></ul><ul><li>1958 - Sultan Said bin Taimur regains control of the interior </li></ul><ul><li>1964 - Oil reserves are discovered; extraction begins in 1967 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Al Busaid 1749 to date
  15. 15. 1970 <ul><li>23 rd of July 1970 </li></ul><ul><li>HM Sultan Qaboos assumes power and unifies the country under the Sultanate of Oman. </li></ul><ul><li>Oman enters into the world and starts to become a modern state. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Early Oman
  17. 17. Early Oman
  18. 18. Early Oman
  19. 19. Oman Now & Then
  20. 20. Oman Now & Then
  21. 21. Oman Now & Then
  22. 22. Oman Now & Then
  23. 23. Oman Now & Then
  24. 24. Why the history lesson? <ul><li>Cultural Diversity </li></ul><ul><li>To understand the people and the culture you must understand the history </li></ul><ul><li>Oman’s diverse society today is a direct result of the history </li></ul><ul><li>ِ Arab/ Africa/ Asian/ Persian/ Western influences have shaped the Omani </li></ul>
  25. 25. Cultural Diversity <ul><li>Men Dress: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dishdasha (thoub) White vs. colored </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wizar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kumma (different types) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Musar (different types and styles) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Women Dress: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abaya </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Niqab/ burqa'a </li></ul></ul>
  26. 28. People of the regions <ul><ul><li>How do you tell them apart? / Accent (speech) Greeting (handshake/ kissing  ) / Dress (musar / dishdasha)/ Accessories (khanjar/ sticks) </li></ul></ul>
  27. 29. The People of Muscat <ul><li>A mix of cultures (everybody lives in MCT) </li></ul><ul><li>Muscat was the Old Dubai </li></ul><ul><li>Many influences </li></ul><ul><li>Non Muslim communities (Christians/ Hindus) </li></ul>
  28. 30. Islamic Sects and Social Sects <ul><li>Ibadhi / Sunni / Shia </li></ul><ul><li>Social Structure is built around the Islamic sects </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: Lawati, Belushi, Ajmi, Bahrani, Swahili etc. </li></ul>
  29. 31. Languages <ul><li>As a result, many languages are spoken in Oman </li></ul><ul><li>Arabic is the official language </li></ul><ul><li>Swahili, Katchi, Balushi, Jabali, Shuhi, Ajmi, Hindi etc. </li></ul>
  30. 32. Cultural Considerations (commonalities) <ul><li>Greeting/ Communicating </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mukhabara (the handshake) example of azza </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greet Man vs Greet Woman </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small Talk (take the time to ask about the family/ health) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Uloom / Akhbar&quot; the concept of gathering one's news </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mu'azamah (the you first, no you first concept) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yameen ( on the right hand side) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The &quot; Inshallah &quot; factor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The &quot; Mashallah &quot; factor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Al Bilad (going back to the home town) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch the feet! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Standing up! </li></ul></ul>
  31. 33. Speaking Arabic <ul><li>Salam Alaikum (Peace Be Upon You) </li></ul><ul><li>Waalikum Alsalam (Reply) </li></ul><ul><li>Uloom/ Akhbar (enquiry) </li></ul><ul><li>Inshallah (Future) </li></ul><ul><li>Mashallah (When Praising) </li></ul><ul><li>Shukran (Thank You) </li></ul><ul><li>Afwan (Your Welcome) </li></ul><ul><li>Yameen (Right) </li></ul><ul><li>Fursa Saeeda (Nice to meet you) </li></ul>
  32. 34. Video
  33. 35. Thank You! <ul><li>Englishman, John Ovington, who was chaplain to King James II .   He visited Muscat in 1633 AD and wrote,  </li></ul><ul><li>“ These Arabians are very courteous and extremely civil to all strangers; they offer neither violence or affront in any way; and tho’ they are very tenacious of their own principles, and admirers of their own religion, yet do they never impose it on any; nor are their morals evened with such furious zeal, as to divert them of humanity and a tender respect…In fine, these are a people naturally temperate and just, and endued with those excellent qualities which Grecian philosophers and Roman moralists endeavoured to inspire into their subjects, tho’ they missed their aim.” </li></ul>
  34. 36. Back up
  35. 37. 1970