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Hello World! Welcome to Oman Views

Welcome to Oman Views – From A Foreigner’s Perspective.

They call me Miz J, as in “M” for Mysterious. I’m the culprit that this website came to be.

I have other accomplices – all foreigners in Oman. They would like to share with you different perspectives of their stay in the Sultanate of Oman.

Map of the Sultanate of Oman

Oman (pronounced /oʊˈmɑːn/ oh-MAHN; Arabic: عمان‎ ʻUmān), officially the Sultanate of Oman (Arabic: سلطنة عمان‎ Salṭanat ʻUmān), is an Arab country in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

It borders the United Arab Emirates on the northwest, Saudi Arabia on the west and Yemen on the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast.

The country also contains Madha and Musandam, two exclaves on the Gulf of Oman, south of the Strait of Hormuz and surrounded by the United Arab Emirates on the land side.

With its 2,800,000 inhabitants, 700,000 of which non-nationals, on an area of 310,000 km2, Oman has a very low population density of less than 10 inh/km2.

Its capital is Muscat, its currency the Rial. The Omanis’ Sultan is Qaboos bin Said Al Said, their Chancellor Fahad bin Mahmood Al Said. Oman drives on the right. The local time all-year round is UTC+4.

By Wikipedia

Map of the Sutanate of Oman.Map of the Sutanate of Oman.


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His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said

Qaboos bin Said Al Said (Arabic: قابوس بن سعيد آل سعيد‎; Qābūs ibn Sa’īd Āl Sa’īd; born 18 November 1940 in Salalah) is the Sultan of Oman, the first since the country gained independence. He rose to power after overthrowing his father, Sa‘id ibn Taymur, in a palace coup in 1970. He is the 14th descendant of the Al Bu Sa’idi dynasty.

Early Life

Sultan Qaboos ibn Sa‘id was born in Salalah in Dhofar on 18 November 1940. He is the only son of Sultan Said bin Taimur and princess Mazoon al-Mashani. He is one of the 8th generation of the Al Bu Sa‘idi dynasty. He received his primary and secondary education in Salalah and at Pune, in India, and was sent to a private educational establishment in England at age sixteen. At 20 he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. After graduating from Sandhurst, he joined a British Infantry regiment, The Cameronians, and served in the 1st Battalion in Germany for one year. He also held a staff appointment with the British Army.

After his military service, Sultan 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. Sultan Qaboos ibn Sa‘id is a Muslim of the Ibadi school of jurisprudence, which has traditionally ruled Oman. A religious liberal, 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.

In 1976 Qaboos ibn Sa‘id married his cousin, Kamila, née Sayyidah Nawwal bint Tariq (born 1951), daughter of HH Sayyid Tariq ibn Taymur, but the marriage soon ended in divorce.

Qaboos ibn Sa‘id 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 is particularly enthusiastic about the pipe organ.

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.

By Wikipedia

Shell scrambles to pay huge bill for Iran oil




Shell scrambles to pay huge bill for Iran oil

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is struggling to pay off $1 billion that it owes Iran for crude oil because European Union and U.S. financial sanctions now make it almost impossible to process payments, industry sources said.

Four sources said the oil major owes a large sum to the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) for deliveries of crude, with one putting the figure at close to $1 billion. A debt of that size would equate to roughly four large tanker loads of Iranian crude or about 8 million barrels.

“Shell is working hard to figure out a way to pay NIOC,” said an industry source, who requested anonymity. “It’s very sensitive and very difficult. They want to stay on good terms with Iran, while abiding by sanctions.”

A Shell spokesman declined to comment.

The European Union toughened financial sanctions and placed a ban on Iranian oil imports on January 23, but gave companies until July 1 to wind down their existing business.

With daily contract volumes of 100,000 barrels, Shell ranked as Iran’s second biggest corporate client – along with France’s Total – behind Turkey’s Tupras.

Shell CEO Peter Voser said on March 7 the company would take its final deliveries of Iranian crude “within a matter of weeks”.

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NYPD says Iran has conducted surveillance in NYC




NYPD says Iran has conducted surveillance in NYC

WASHINGTON (AP) – Authorities have interviewed at least 13 people since 2005 with ties to Iran’s government who were seen taking pictures of New York City landmarks, a senior New York Police Department official said Wednesday.

Police consider these instances to be pre-operational surveillance, bolstering their concerns that Iran or its proxy terrorist group could be prepared to strike inside the United States, if provoked by escalating tensions between the two countries.

Mitchell Silber, the NYPD’s director of intelligence analysis, told Congress that New York’s international significance as a terror target and its large Jewish population make the city a likely place for Iran and Hezbollah to strike.

Silber testified before the House Homeland Security about the potential threat. Much of what Silber said echoed his previous statements on the potential threat, but he offered new details Wednesday about past activities in New York.

In May 2005, Silber said, tips led the NYPD to six people on a sight-seeing cruise who were taking pictures and movies of city landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge.

In September 2008, police interviewed three people taking pictures of railroad tracks. And in September 2010, federal air marshals saw four people taking pictures and videos at a New York heliport.

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By EILEEN SULLIVAN | Associated Press

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UN weighs future of Syria mission after US-Russia call




UN weighs future of Syria mission after US-Russia call

The UN Security Council was to examine the future of its observer mission in violence-wracked Syria on Tuesday after a joint US-Russian call for an immediate end to the conflict.

The mission’s leader Major General Robert Mood, whose 300 unarmed monitors suspended operations on Saturday because of escalating bloodshed, was to brief the Security Council.

With civilians trapped by regime shelling of rebel bastions such as the central city of Homs, Mood has urged the government and opposition to let “women, children, the elderly and the injured to leave conflict zones.”

And UN rights chief Navi Pillay has demanded a halt to government bombardment of populated areas. “Such actions amount to crimes against humanity and possible war crimes,” Pillay told the UN Human Rights Council.

US President Barack Obama and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Monday called for an “immediate cessation of all violence.”

“In order to stop the bloodshed in Syria, we call for an immediate cessation of all violence,” the two leaders said in a statement after meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.

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AFP

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