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Muscat History, Oman

Muscat is the seat of government, the capital and the largest city of the Sultanate of Oman. Touted as one of the oldest cities in the Middle East, its greater metropolitan area is the home of more than 600,000 people. Muscat is also the largest city of the Governorate of Masqat, the known division of governance in the whole country. After the ascension of Qaboos bin Said as Sultan of Oman, modern infrastructures as well developmental changes were initiated in Muscat. This is gearing up to the rise of the Sultanate as a force in economy in that part of Asia. As of today, Muscat is remarkably green, with tree-lined main streets, numerous substantial public parks, and grass, shrubs, and flowers decorating many thoroughfares.

The history of the city dates as far as the second century AD due to its strategic location being at the end of the Arabian Peninsula. This has made it a passageway for conquerors as well as traders. It has undergone various changes in rulers including the famous Arabic empires. In 1507, the Portuguese invaded Oman and captured the city. Several attempts were initiated by the locals to overthrow the Portuguese rule. Finally, in 1649, a revolution led by Imam Saif bin Sultan defeated the Portuguese under André Pereira dos Reis. Though superior in arms and military equipment, the Portuguese still succumbed to the shrewd and cunning warfare of the locals. What is left of the of the Portuguese firepower including the captured warships of the Portuguese Navy was then used by the intelligent Imam to expand the territories from Zanzibar in the south to Gwadar in what is now Pakistan in the east. This was probably the golden age of young country when relative stability and prosperity was brought in both the country and its capital.

Following the death of the Imam, political and unrest and chaos ensued making it easy for the Persian to capture the country in 1737. However, their reign proved to be short-lived because of internal struggles including a mutinying military and it  made it a breeze for Ahmed bin Said to defeat them. After a series of changes in Sultan, Said bin Taimur bin Faisal in the 1950’s finally reunited the whole country into one with Muscat as the capital.

Due to these developments, it is evident that the historical nature is still present in the structures of the country. It is still the walled city with prominent white buildings that are erected up to five stories. This is a breathtaking site to behold but with recent changes in infrastructure, the city has become a mix of history and modernity rolled into one.

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