Saturday, January 11, 2020

Sultan Qaboos , Gulfs’ long-serving ruler passes away “‘Updated”

Omani TV has declared from shot time ago that Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman has passed away after suffering from illness.
There will be a 40-days of National mourning in the country.

Sultan Qaboos of Oman
Sultan Qaboos of Oman
I do not recall Arab media speaking about his illness directly but it seems that the man surfed from cancer of the colon since 2015.
Sultan Qaboos returned from Belgium after treatment.

The Royal palace claimed on 29 December 2019 that it was a successful trip and he was fine but I guess we know that was not true.
It was said that he returned back to make arrangement of succession.

Rumors are already spreading online that he passed away earlier but the Omani authorities had to keep a secret because of all the tension in the region.

Interestingly, I have not seen any Omani officials in that big memorial service held in Tehran.

Longest-serving ruler and the Middleman of the Middle East

Teenage Qaboos
Teenage Qaboos
Qaboos was the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East and the Arab world was nearly 50 years in power.

He broke the record for real.

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst was only 29 years old when he led a coup against his father Said bin Taimur Al Said in 1970 in a move that was backed by London then.

Yes, he turned against his own father. It is one of the distinguished Gulf moves then.

Sultan Qaboos exiled his father to London where he lived till his death. In his early days, he managed to crackdown the leftist Dhofar rebellion with the direct help of the UK and Imperial Iran.

The 1940-born is considered the man who turned his country into a rich and modern Sultanate despite democracy and human rights were not his priority as an absolute monarchy. Omani Tweeps mourn him a lot as a father figure of the nation.

The Middle East lost its biggest and famous Middleman or meditator if I may say, the master o neutrality despite he had been leaning to the West and to the UK since the start.

This man played an important role in the early phase of negotiations between Egypt and Israel in the 1970s. Sultan Qaboos is remembered positively by millions of Egyptians that he did not boycott Egypt after Camp David treaty, little they knew he helped in making it possible in the first place.

Young Qaboos 
Needless to say, Qaboos made headlines in 2018 when Israeli PM Netanyahu and his wife visited Muscat and he received them in a move that showed the world how the Arabian Gulf was ready to take its relations with Israel to the next level or rather to the open air.

Qaboos and his country have been playing an important role n the negotiations and talks between the Iranians and Gulf from one side and the Iranians and the West from another side.

He maintained good relations with Iran even in time with the Shah of Iran, it is interesting to see how he maintained relations with the Islamic republic afterward.

Interestingly, Oman was the one that suggested to bring foreign Western troops to help in liberating Kuwait from Iraqi invasion in 1990 during that famous meeting of League of Arab States in Cairo.

In February 2011, his country hit by a wave of protests as protesters from Young Omanis demanded more political rights and better economic conditions. The old man cracked the movement violently and quickly but he also listened to some of the demands like dismissing the cabinet and giving raises as well as giving more powers to the Council of Oman aka the Parliament.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced three-days-national mourning to mourn the late Sultan

Interestingly on Saturday, we found Ahmed Morsy, the son of late ousted president Mohamed Morsi allegedly mourns Sultan Qaboos revealing that the late Sultan presented his condolences to the family of late Morsi in a rare move. 

To be honest, I am sure about the authenticity of the account but I won't be surprised if Qaboos did this. This is typical Oman especially Oman along with Kuwait were playing a role in mediating between Qatar and the Gulf trio. 

There will be no change in Oman’s foreign policies thanks to its foreign minister Yusuf bin Alawi.

Who will be the next Sultan of Oman ??

The Question of the hour is who will the next Sultan of Oman especially Sultan Qaboos is probably the only monarch in the Middle East without a direct male heir. He married shortly from his cousin and then they were divorced.

According to the Omani constitution of 1996’s articles No.5 and No.6, the Sultan must be a Muslim male from the descendant of Turki bin Said chosen within three days of the death of the Sultan by the House of Al Said council.

If the council fails then the “ Defense Council together with the Chairman of Majlis Al Dawla, the Chairman of Majlis Al-Shura, and the Chairman of the Supreme Court along with two of his most senior deputies, shall instate the person designated by His Majesty the Sultan in his letter to the Royal Family Council.”

And yes, Sultan Qaboos wrote down the name of his successor in a sealed letter to be opened if the Royal Family council fails to name the next Sultan.

Currently, the Defense council of Oman convened in open session and has officially called the House of Al Said council to convene to choose a successor. Interestingly, it is nearly 5 AM in Muscat and honestly, I do not understand why they announced it in that late time except that they fear any trouble.

Already people began to suspect something is wrong when they saw army units deployed in the streets of Muscat Friday late night and Saturday early morning hours.

Currently, there is a name being shared online as the successor of Sultan Qaboos: his direct cousin Assad bin Tarek Al Said.

What is known about Assad bin Tarek who has been Qaboos’ special representative since 2002 that he was born in June 1954.
Assad bin Tarek
Assad bin Tarek is tipped to be the next Sultan of Oman
He was graduated from Sandhurst in 1977. Interestingly, bin Assad was Qadoos was brother-in-law as the late Sultan married his sister for a short time.

Assad’s brothers and even his son are all considered possible candidates for the Sultan position.

The Sultan is dead, Long live the Sultan

Well I slept and I woke up to find a new Sultan was chosen and he swore in and he is not Assad bin Tarek.

His brother, October 1954 born-Haitham bin Tarek was chosen by Qaboos.
Sultan Haitham in Muscat on Saturday
Sultan Haitham in Muscat on Saturday
The Royal Family council and The Army council did not wait for three days and opened on-air Qaboos’ sealed letter and declared his successor in a quite interesting transfer of power scene.

We do not know much about the new Sultan who was once a minister of heritage and culture except he was a 1979 graduate of Oxford and he is not actually a military. His Wikipedia page does not say much too.

Here is Sultan Haithem swearing-in at the Omani parliament from Omani TV.
New Sultan Haitham vowed to keep on Oman's very neutral and interesting foreign policies of non-Intervention.
The old Sultan carrying the coffin of the old Sultan
The old Sultan carrying the coffin of the old Sultan
Interestingly I know on Saturday that Al Said’s Royal house got their own turban pattern.
The same turban by members of Al Said house
The same turban by members of Al Said house 
Egypt’s Social media is starting its memes because many believe Haithem is a “Softy” name for little boys not for fearful Sultans. Sadly, many ignore that Haithem is actually a classical authentic Arabic name.

P.s I have not been able to finish my post about Qassem Soleimani
2020 has started hot already in the Mideast

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