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Is Oman really the peaceful anomaly of the Middle East? - Mohammed Alfazari

Revered as an icon of stability, ruler Sultan Qaboos maintains Oman's remarkable success... but at what price?




- Wrriten By: Madeleine Miller
"On our flag, green is for farming… red represents what we have been through, wars and expelling the Portuguese… and white represents peace. We are now a peaceful country," says my Omani guide as we tear along one of Jebel Shams’ rocky roads.
This was certainly not the first, nor the last time I heard this in Oman.
Tranquility is an image difficult to fathom for a nation bordering warring Yemen and sandwiched between the flaring tensions of Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran on the cusp of a proxy war. It seems like a concoction destined to fail; three sects of Islam (Ibadi, Sunni, Shia), an array of differing ancestries; Arab, African, Baluchi and Indian, and an injection of two million expatriate workers from Asia and Europe.
Yet I found myself stunned by how seamlessly Omani’s multi-sectarian society appeared to be stitched together. I…