Oman’s Sultan Qaboos dies at 79
Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said, the longest-serving leader in the Gulf region, died early on Saturday at the age of 79. July would have marked his fiftieth anniversary of ruling the country. Qaboos will go down in history as a ruler that took his small country in the Middle East to new levels of modernization and mediation. “The service Sultan Qaboos has done for his country over the last five decades is unmatched by any leader in modern times,” said former US ambassador to Oman Richard Schmierer in an interview.
Qaboos was born in the Omani city of Salalah on November 18, 1940, the only son of ruler Sultan Said bin Taimur and Sheikha Mazoon al-Mashani.
Educated in Britain, including at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Qaboos’ accession to the throne came at the young age of 29, when he overthrew his father in a bloodless coup on July 23, 1970.
Upon first assuming power, Qaboos told his people, “Oman in the past was in darkness, but a new dawn will rise.”