Oman’s history contains stories of heroism, courage, wisdom, patriotism, love and devotion to its homeland. This helps bring us closer to understanding the richness of the Omani culture which has contributed to the building of modern Oman as it is today.
Oman’s strategic location has played a major role in many campaigns and regional conflicts in this region. Oman overlooks the Arabian Sea, the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf. It also controls the Strait of Hormuz, which is one of the most important facilities in the region, linking the Sea of Oman with the Arabian Gulf. The Strait of Hormuz is a gateway to all ships coming from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.
Al Wattih in Muscat Governorate is reported to be one of the first inhabited cities on record. Modern archaeological discoveries suggest that humans settled there during the Stone Age (more than 10,000 years ago). The Babylonians and the Assyrians settled in Oman as they wanted to control the trade routes that linked Asia to the shores of the Mediterranean.
Oman had been the target of several attempts by the Persians to invade its territory, but the steadfastness and heroism of its nationals were successfully combined to defeat the attackers. These invaders were defeated, underscoring the exploits of Omani heroes in defending their lands. One of the most notable victories was achieved at the hands of Imam Ahmed bin Saeed Al Busaidi, who defeated the Persians and was elected Imam.
Facts about Oman
Arabic is the principal language spoken by Omanis, who have spoken it since the immigration of Arab tribes nearly two millennia ago. The Omani dialect generally is close to modern standard Arabic, although coastal dialects employ a number of loanwords from Baluchi, Persian, Urdu and Gujarati (two Indo-Aryan languages), and even Portuguese. The mountain people of Dhofar, as well as several small nomadic groups in the desert between Dhofar and northern Oman, speak a variety of unique South Arabian languages that are not mutually intelligible with modern Arabic. English is widely spoken as a second language.
Oman has a very long history and was known as Magan to ancient Persian and Mesopotamian civilizations and was an important producer of copper and ornamental stone. The Arab tribes in Oman adopted Islam during the lifetime of the prophet Muhammad (c.570–632). The Omani national identity has evolved from its predominant Arab language and culture, its tribal organization, and Islam. Oman withstood attempts by classical Islamic empires to subdue the country, and the Portuguese invasion of the sixteenth century was confined to coastal ports and was terminated by national Omani resistance in the mid-seventeenth century.
A large percentage of Omanis live in rural areas and many others own land and property in the countryside even though they live and work in the towns. Many of those in the countryside are self-sufficient farmers and fishermen. Livestock production is the basis of agricultural activity in the center and south of Oman, with fishing along Oman’s long coastline coming a close second. Nearly one-third of Omani’s non oil exports come from agriculture and fisheries.