Happy Thanksgiving from Salalah, Oman

Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
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14
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Trip End Dec 04, 2013


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Flag of Oman  ,
Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sunny and 86 degrees is the weather forecast as we dock in our first stop in the country of Oman. It is a surprising country with beautiful ocean beaches, deserts and lush green mountains. Home to about 2.7million people it is a relatively modern country. The current sultan, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, was born in Salalah and since rising to the throne in the 1970s has transformed Oman into a modern country with schools, hospitals, roads etc. Before he assumed the throne girls were not allowed to go to school; now all children are required to attend schools and learn both Arabic and English. They are rapidly building 4-5 star hotels to accommodate the tourists who are coming here. Marriott, Hilton and Crown Plaza all have beachfront hotels in Salalah.

Modern roads exist but we often had to slow or stop down to allow roaming herds of camels or cattle to cross the road in front of us. As we toured the local countryside we saw over a hundred camels wandering around. They are valued for their milk (considered healthy), meat and use as beasts of burden. Local people LOVE the rainy season of summer when everything is lush and green. They enjoy going to the beach when it is cloudy and rainy, not when it is sunny!

Oman is famous for frankincense, which is dried sap from the frankincense tree. The Omani people burn it, use it as a basis for perfume and even chew or drink it it for health reasons. It is a major export item and there are shops everywhere selling it.  Other major export products are limestone and cement.

We visited the local souq and another oddity (to me) was the "segregation" of shops there. One street was lined with tiny tailor shops (more than 20) for men and a few blocks away were streets lined with clothing shops only for women. This is a conservative Arabic country where the women to wear burqas ( the face covering) when they are in public.

In the "things you did not know department" we learned that Omani men can divorce their wives, but not vice versa. However, they do need to pay alimony. Furthermore men can only have 3 divorces. After that they cannot remarry. Maybe that is where " three strikes and you are out" came from!

Happy thanksgiving to everyone! Visiting some of these countries helps us to remember to be thankful that we live where we do and have what we have.
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Comments

CJ Kahler on

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. See you when you return.

Annette Landvatter on

What type of store were you in that sold the Frankincense? It looked like an apothecary. Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless.

Hugs Annette

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