Muscat And Oman: Family Coup

Under Said Bin Taimur, the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, which lies on the southeast corner of the Arabian peninsula, remained one of the most stagnant societies on earth. The 60-year-old Sultan decreed long ago that his 600,000 subjects should not own automobiles or attend cinemas. In the capital, Muscat, the city gates are closed at sundown, when the cannon booms. People must carry lanterns at night; flashlights are banned as too blinding.

Life imprisonment in Muscat means being dumped into a 30-ft. hole in the ground. When a British visitor recently complained that such treatment was harsh, the Sultan...

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