Monday, February 28, 2011

Omani protests intensify

One of the stereotypes of Omanis and Emiratis is that Omanis are gentle and easygoing, and Emiratis are pushy and demanding -- and that these traits are deeply rooted culturally. I'm thinking of those stereotypes when I read this report from Reuters:
A doctor said six people had been killed in clashes between stone-throwing protesters and police on Sunday in the northern industrial town of Sohar. Oman's health minister said only one person had been killed and 20 wounded.

Hundreds of protesters blocked access to an industrial area that includes the port, a refinery and aluminum factory. A port spokeswoman said exports of refined oil products that typically amount to 160,000 barrels per day from the port were unaffected.

"We want to see the benefit of our oil wealth distributed evenly to the population," one protester yelled over a loudhailer near the port. "We want to see a scale-down of expatriates in Oman so more jobs can be created for Omanis."

Peaceful protests also spread to other cities, with hundreds of people demonstrating outside a government ministerial complex in Muscat and at another site in the capital.

The unrest in Sohar, Oman's main industrial center, was a rare outbreak of discontent in the normally sleepy sultanate ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said for four decades, and follows a wave of pro-democracy protests across the Arab world.
Video of supermarket burning here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have the stereotypes the other way around.

Omanis have always been fighters.

An easy way to know is they (And the people of the emirates close to Oman) culturally ran around with a dagger on them at all times.

Some still do.

10:09 PM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

That's a very good point about the daggers. Nevertheless, I stand by my original statement of the stereotype.

Whichever way, we're talking about stereotypes, and those are sometimes true and often not.

10:44 PM  
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