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Said Bin Taimur of Muscat

Said Bin Taimur (1910-1972) was the sultan of Muscat (the country later renamed Oman) from 1932 to 1970).

The son of Taimur Bin Feisal[?], he inheritted the remains of an Omani Empire, which included the neighboring provinces of Oman and Dhofar[?], as well as the last remnants of an overseas empire, including Gwadar[?] on the Pakistani coast--the latter was ceded to Pakistan in 1958. Nevertheless, his petroleum-rich country also had lonmg established ties with the United Kingdom, based on a 1798 Treaty of Friendship, and was a British protectorate since 1891.


As sultan, oil wealth would have allowed Sultan Said Bin Taimur to modernize his country, and, in fact, he secured British recognition of its independence in 1951. Nevertheless, he also faced serious internal opposition, from the imam, or religious leader, of Oman, who claimed power in the kingdom for himself. The imam's revolt was suppressed in 1955 with the help of Great Britain, but this, in turn, earned Taimur the animosity of Saudi Arabia, which supported the austere religious philosophy of the iman, and of Egypt, which regarded British involvement in suppressing the revolt as a slap in the face to the cause of Arab nationalism[?]. In 1957, these two countries supported a second revolt by the imam, which was similarly suppressed.

Despite the wealth that Oman accumulated through its vast petroleum reserves, the Sultan refused to use this money for the benefit of his subjects, and the country ssentially remained a feudal monarchy, run at Said's whim. In 1965, the province of Dhofar revolted, this time with the support of China and some of the nationalist Arab states, followed by an assassination attempt in 1966, which had a marked effect on Said causing him to become even more erratic in governing the country. Reportedly, even wearing eyeglasses was discouraged, and the Sultan meted out punishments to people who appeared in his dreams. No one was safe from the sultan's paranoia, and even his own son, Qaboos[?] was kept under virtual house arrest at the Sultan's palace in Salalah[?].

Qaboos staged a coup in 1970 and sent his father to exile in Great Britain. Said lived at the Dorchester Hotel in London, seldom leaving his suite, till his death in 1972.

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