17 April 2012

A Sultan, a King and a President Walk into a Café

HM greets Bashar 

 Muscat: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said has sent a cable of greetings to President Dr Bashar Al Assad of the Syrian Arab Republic on the occasion of his country’s National Day. 

 In his cable, His Majesty expressed his greetings along with his best wishes of good health, happiness and a long life to President Al Assad, praying Allah the Almighty to achieve security, stability and prosperity for the Syrian people.

Hmmmmmm.  The was one of the more interesting articles in the Times of Oman today.  Not that a routine cable from one... powerful ...leader to another is all that interesting, except for it makes me wonder (as I have been taught so well to think critically) what the historical relationship is between Syria and Oman?  What does this "greetings on the occasion of his country's National Day" mean in the larger scope of things?  How do the Omani people see Syrian leadership?  How does the country as a whole view the Arab Spring?  These will be some of the more delicate questions I hope to have the chance to ask when I go to Oman.  

I am guessing, based on how Moroccan's view their king, that it is not legally okay to publicly criticize Sultan Qaboos.  I am also guessing it is not culturally okay because I have heard that he is generally rather popular with his people, and because how little I have heard about Oman over this last year and a half of Arab Spring.  

Still, it makes me wonder what kind of routine diplomacy is going on between all of these leaders who survived the Arab Spring, and what Sultan Q (and I guess 'Mo 6' too) would think if he heard the song below:

(Song: #Syria (الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام), Artist: Omar Offendum ft. The Narcicyst)

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