A Journey to Oman
Last Friday, on January 13th, the ruler of Oman Sultan Qabus bin Said passed away. Nahostcast had only in December recorded an episode on the country and didn’t foresee this development. But in order to understand what this loss means to a country like Oman, it is even more important to provide an insight into its political and societal system.
Oman – a country that few people can actually locate on a map, although it is one of the most developed countries in the MENA-region. However, only 40 years ago there were only 10km of tarred roads and a dozen primary schools. The Omani sultan had managed to thoroughly modernize it in a balancing act between rich traditions and innovative new ideas.
But how does a society cope with such a tremendous change? To answer this question, we have invited Hamed as a guest. He has grown up in Oman, worked and lived there. We got to know him through Couchsurfing on an adventurous roadtrip two years ago. Together we discuss which role the sultan takes within the Omani society and which perspectives we see for the future of the country. Is there a generation gap due to this modernization process? How does the political system look like and why is the sultanate often deemed a political solution for the region?