Oman (Arabic: عمان ʻUmān
), also known as Sultanate of Oman (Arabic: سلطنة عُمان Salṭanat ʻUmān
) is a Middle Eastern country in the Arabian peninsula, bordered by Saudi Arabia
in the west, the United Arab Emirates
in the northeast, and Yemen in the south. It is a semi-absolute monarchy, with Qaboos bin Said, who brought back Oman to modernity. The Omanis practice a different form of Islam called Ibadi Islam, distinct from Sunni and Shia Islam.
In the 17th century, Oman was an empire in the Indian Ocean. For a while, Oman's capital was in Zanzibar in Africa. While it was never a British protectorate, they were influenced by them. The discovery of oil have made Oman an important oil supplier, though not as great as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were.
The ruler of Oman in the early and mid-20th century was Sultan Said bin Taimur, who ruled a very conservative regime and banned reading glasses
. He was sacked by his son in 1970, partly for failing to crush the Dhofar Rebellion in 1965 quickly. These rebels are backed by Communists and the South Yemeni government. By 1975, Sultan Qaboos quelled the rebellion and has instituted social and economic reforms. Even more reforms are now being in place in the 2010s during the Arab Spring
. The Omani government also try to remedy the unemployment problem by trying to recruit native Omani personnel to do jobs that foreign workers usually do.
The Omani flag
The flag's white, red and green stripes symbolize peace and prosperity, battles against foreign invasions, and the Green Mountains and fertility, respectively. At the hoist side is a red column, recalling the country's former all-red flag before 1970. At the canton is the national emblem, which is also the family badge of the House of Al Said, Oman's current royal family, showing a pair of sheathed swords over a khanjar, a local dagger.