Qaboos bin Said al Said
|Qaboos bin Said Al Said|
|Sultan of Oman|
|Reign||23 July 1970 – present|
|Predecessor||Said bin Taimur|
|Spouse||Sayyidah Nawwal bint Tariq (1976–1979)|
|Father||Said bin Taimur|
18 November 1940 |
Qaboos bin Said Al Said (Arabic: قابوس بن سعيد آل سعيد Qābūs bin Saʿīd ʾĀl Saʿīd; born 18 November 1940) is the Sultan of Oman and its dependencies. He rose to power after overthrowing his father, Said bin Taimur, in a palace coup in 1970. He is the 14th-generation descendant of the founder of the Al Bu Sa'idi dynasty and the only sultan that Oman has had since its independence.
Qaboos was born in Salalah in Dhofar on 18 November 1940. He is the only son of Sultan Said bin Taimur and Sheikha Mazoon al-Mashani. He received his primary and secondary education at Salalah and Pune, India where he was the student of Shankar Dayal Sharma, the former President of India and was sent to a private educational establishment in England at age 16. At 20, he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. After graduating from Sandhurst, he joined the British Army and was posted to the 1st Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), serving in Germany for one year. He also held a staff appointment with the British Army.
After his military service, Qaboos studied local government subjects in England and, after a world tour, returned home to Salalah where he studied Islam and the history of his country.
Rise to power
Qaboos acceded to the throne on 23 July 1970 following a successful coup against his father, with the aim of ending the country's isolation and using its oil revenue for modernization and development, moving to Muscat. There he declared that the country would no longer be known as Muscat and Oman, but would change its name to "the Sultanate of Oman" in order to better reflect its political unity.
The first pressing problem that Qaboos bin Said faced as Sultan was an armed communist insurgency from South Yemen, the Dhofar Rebellion (1962–1976). The sultanate eventually defeated the incursion with help from the Shah of Iran, Jordanian troops sent from his friend king Hussein of Jordan, British Special Forces and the Royal Air Force.
Reign as sultan
The Sultan of Oman
|Reference style||His Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Majesty|
The political system which Qaboos established is that of an absolute monarchy.
Oman has no system of checks and balances, and thus no separation of powers. All power is concentrated in the sultan, who is also chief of staff of the armed forces, Minister of Defense, Minister of Foreign Affairs and chairman of the Central Bank. All legislation since 1970 has been promulgated through royal decrees, including the 1996 Basic Law. The sultan appoints judges, and can grant pardons and commute sentences. The sultan's authority is inviolable and the sultan expects total subordination to his will.
In September 1995, he was involved in a car accident in Salalah just outside his palace, which claimed the life of one of his most prominent and influential ministers and his right-hand man, Qais Bin Abdul Munim Al Zawawi.
According to CBS News,
Several protest leaders have been detained and released in rolling waves of arrests during the Arab Spring, and dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in the country is high. While disgruntlement amongst the populace is obvious, the extreme dearth of foreign press coverage and lack of general press freedom there leaves it unclear as to whether the protesters want the sultan to leave, or simply want their government to function better. Beyond the recent protests, there is concern about succession in the country, as there is no heir apparent or any clear legislation on who may be the next Sultan.
Oman has more normal relations with Iran than the other Persian Gulf states, and is careful to appear neutral and maintain a balance between the West and Iran. As a result, Oman has often acted as an intermediary between the United States and Iran.
Views on ideology
Qaboos criticized the Arab nationalist leader Gamal Abdel Nasser in private discussions with American officials which were released by Wikileaks. He said Nasser deliberately used inflammatory speeches and rhetoric to make his people stupid, and accused Nasser of having "set the region back", holding a position of "anti-everything". Qaboos concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood obtained support from the uneducated people.
Qaboos is a Muslim of the Ibadi denomination, which has traditionally ruled Oman. He has financed the construction or maintenance of a number of mosques, notably the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, as well as the holy places of other religions.
Unlike the heads of other Persian Gulf states, Qaboos has not publicly named an heir. This has become a particular relevant problem, after the sultan has spent eight months in Germany for medical treatment of an alleged cancer. Although Sultan Qaboos returned to Oman on 23 March 2015 and state officials as well as the Sultan himself have repeatedly tried to assure the population over his health, uncertainty still remains and the question of his succession is giving way to all sorts of speculations. Article 6 of the constitution says the royal family should choose a new sultan within three days of the position falling vacant. If the royal family council fails to agree, a letter containing a name penned by sultan Qaboos should be opened in the presence of a defense council of military and security officials, supreme court chiefs, and heads of the two quasi-parliamentary advisory assemblies. Analysts see the rules as an elaborate means of sultan Qaboos securing his choice for successor without causing controversy by making it public during his lifetime.
Qaboos has no children; there are other male members of the Omani royal family including several paternal uncles and their families. Using primogeniture, the successor to Qaboos would appear to be the children of his late uncle, Sayyid Tariq bin Taimur Al Said, Oman's first prime minister before the sultan took over the position himself. Oman watchers believe the top contenders to succeed Qaboos are three of Tariq's sons: Assad bin Tariq Al Said, the personal representative of the Sultan; Shihab bin Tariq, a retired naval commander; and Haytham bin Tariq, the Minister of Heritage and National Culture. First Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmud al-Said, a distant cousin of the Sultan, and Taimur bin Assad, the son of Assad bin Taimur, are also mentioned as potential candidates. The problem is that non of the above seem to have the necessary capacities to rule Oman, since Sultan Qaboos, differently from the other Gulf countries, has relied more on the business elite than on family members, who have been excluded from key positions, to secure his power over the country. Anyway, his successor will have to strive to secure the same legitimacy that the current Sultan has managed to gain. Moreover, the question raises whether also the next successor will keep the same absolute power in his hands or whether he will decide to separate State powers, given that although Oman has been largely untouched by the 2011 Arab Spring, unrest has kept on sweeping through the country throughout 2012 and 2013. It is thus reasonable to expect that the younger generation won't accept from the next successor the same grip on power that the Sultan now has.
Other public activities
Qaboos bin Said is an avid fan and promoter of classical music. His 120-member orchestra has a high reputation in the Middle East. The orchestra consists entirely of young Omanis who, since 1986, audition as children and grow up as members of the symphonic ensemble. They play locally and travel abroad with the sultan. Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin was commissioned to compose a work entitled Symphonic Impressions of Oman and the Sultan is particularly enthusiastic about the pipe organ. The Royal Opera House Muscat features the largest mobile pipe organ in the world, which has three specially made organ stops, named the "Royal Solo" in his honour. He was also a patron of local folk musician Salim Rashid Suri, making him a cultural consultant, in which role Suri wrote songs praising the Sultan and his family.
The Sultan's birthday, 18 November, is celebrated as Oman's national holiday. The first day of his reign, 23 July, is celebrated as Renaissance Day.
On 22 March 1976, Qaboos bin Said married his cousin, Kamila, née Sayyidah Nawwal bint Tariq Al-Said (born 1951), daughter of Sayyid Tariq bin Taymur Al-Said. The marriage ended in divorce in 1979. She remarried in 2005. Qaboos bin Said is rumoured to be behind the recent purchase of former England national team captain John Terry's Surrey mansion.
|Al Alam Palace||Muscat||2.0 km2 (0.77 sq mi)|
|Al Said||155||Lürssen||2007||Contains a Helipad, an orchestra and swimming pool. Berthed most of the time in Mutrah port.|
|Fulk al Salamah||136||Lürssen||1987||Owned by the Royal Navy of Oman. It has participated in Ship for World Youth.|
|Loaloat Al Behar||103.85||Picchiotti Italy||1982||Largest yacht built in Italy in the 1980s. Sold.|
|Zinat al Bihaar||61||Oman Royal Yacht Squadron||1988||Luxury sailing yacht with world's largest sail built in Oman with imported engine from Siemens.|
|Al-Noores||33.5||K. Damen Netherlands||1982||Specialized tug boat for the other royal yachts.|
Qaboos holds the following ranks:
- Field Marshal, Royal Army of Oman
- Admiral of the Fleet, Royal Navy of Oman
- Marshal of the Royal Air Force of Oman
- Supreme Commander, Royal Oman Police
- Honorary General, British Army
He has been awarded (° = Royal Ark):
- Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria (31 March 2001) °
- Bahrain: Member 1st Class of the Order of Al Khalifa °
- Brunei: Member of the Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei (15 December 1984) °
- Egypt: Grand Collar of the Order of the Nile (1976) °
- France: Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour (31 May 1989) °
- Germany: Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany °
- India: Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding (2004) (Award yet to be presented)
- Indonesia: Recipient of the Star of the Republic of Indonesia, 1st Class or Adipurna °
- Iran: Grand Collar of the Order of Pahlavi (3 March 1974) °
- Iran: Commemorative Medal of the 2500th Anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire (14 October 1971)
- Italy: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (22 April 1974) °
- Japan: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum °
- Jordan: Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali °
- Kuwait: Collar of the Order of Mubarak the Great (28 December 2009) °
- Lebanon: Collar of the Order of Merit °
- Malaysia: Member of the Order of the Crown of the Realm (DMN) °
- Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion (2012)
- Pakistan: Recipient of the Nishan-e-Pakistan, 1st Class °
- Qatar: Collar of the Order of the Independence °
- Saudi Arabia: Recipient of the Badr Chain °
- Saudi Arabia: Decoration 1st class (December 1971) and Collar (23 December 2006) of the Order of Abdulaziz al Saud °
- Singapore: Member 1st Class of the Order of Temasek (12 March 2009) °
- South Africa: Grand Cross of the Order of Good Hope (1999)
- Spain: Knight of the Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (13 December 1985) °
- Syria: Collar of the Order of Umayyad °
- Tunisia: Collar of the Order of Independence °
- UAE: Collar of the Order of Etihad (Order of the Federation) °
- United Kingdom: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG, 8 July 1976) °
- United Kingdom: Knight of the Venerable Order of Saint John (KStJ, 8 November 1976) °
- United Kingdom: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO, 28 February 1979) °
- United Kingdom: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB, 18 March 1982) °
- United Kingdom: Bailiff Grand Cross of the Venerable Order of Saint John (GCStJ, 19 March 1984) °
- United Kingdom: Royal Victorian Chain (27 November 2010) °
|Ancestors of Qaboos bin Said al Said|
- List of current heads of state and government
- Current reigning monarchs by length of reign
- List of current state leaders by date of assumption of office
- Al Sa'id, Qaboos (1940–) – Personal history, Biographical highlights, Personal chronology, Influences and contributions, The world's perspective, Legacy. Encyclopedia.jrank.org. Retrieved on 14 July 2011.
- "Qaboos bin Said". Webster's Concise Encyclopedia 1. New York: Gramercy Books. 1998. p. 520.
- Tribute to His Majesty
- PROFILE-Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Forexyard.com (2011-03-25). Retrieved on 14 July 2011.
- "Country Report: Oman".
- "The world's enduring dictators: Qaboos bin Said, Oman".
- Slackman, Michael (16 May 2009). "Oman Navigates Between Iran and Arab Nations". The New York Times.
- http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/05/world/middleeast/irans-president-to-speak-at-the-un.html?_r=0 Iran’s President to Speak at the U.N.
- http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2013/08/iran Iran: A visit from the sultan
- "US embassy cables: Oman sultan resists Iranian charm offensive". The Guardian (London). 28 November 2010.
- Though Ibadhis are the majority in Oman, with Sunnis a minority, exact percentages are unavailable; 75% for the Ibadhis is often cited, while the Sunnis, followed by a small amount of local Shiites and foreign Hindus, Christians, and others make up the remaining 25%.
- Dokoupil, Martin (24 May 2012). "Succession Question Fuels Uncertainty in Oman". Reuters. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- HH Prince Sayyid Tarik bin Taimur al-SAID. Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved on 14 July 2011.
- "The Question of Succession". Muscat Confidential. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- Trofimov, Yaroslavth (14 December 2001). "Oman has oil, but it had no orchestra". Wall Street Journal: A6.
- [dead link]
- Carlo Curly & Mathis Music at the Wayback Machine (archived December 16, 2008)
- . Times of Oman; "In the Eye of Beauty - An Ode to the Organ" 11th December 2014; retrieved 24th December 2014.
- Margaret Makepeace (November 26, 2013). "The Singing Sailor - Salim Rashid Suri". Untold Lives Blog. British Library. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- Joseph A. Kechichian (December 17, 2010). "Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed: A democrat visionary". Weekend Review. Gulf News. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- Top 100. Yachtspotter.com (2010-07-27). Retrieved on 14 July 2011.
- Access Perpetual Wellbeing in Excess: Sultan Qaboos's extravaganza. Inequalityreduced.blogspot.com (2009-01-01). Retrieved on 14 July 2011.
- Central and South Asia. Saudi Aramco World. Retrieved on 14 July 2011.
- Sailing Yacht – Zinat al Bihaar – Oman Royal Yacht Squadron – Completed Superyachts on Superyacht Times .com. Superyachttimes.info. Retrieved on 14 July 2011.
- Motor Yacht – Al-Noores – K. Damen – Completed Superyachts on Superyacht Times .com. Superyachttimes.com. Retrieved on 14 July 2011.
- The Royal Ark, Oman genealogical details, p.9
- "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (pdf) (in German). p. 1441. Retrieved November 2012.
- HM deserves much more than awards and medals. Times of Oman (2007-01-28). Retrieved on 14 July 2011.
- Italian Presidency Website, S.M. Qaboos bin Said Sultano dell'Oman - decorato di Gran Cordone
- 1999 National Orders awards
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Qaboos bin Said al Said
House of Al SaidBorn: 18 November 1940
Said Bin Taimur
|Sultan of Oman