Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman, Dies at Age 79, Marking Longest Reign by Arab Ruler

Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman, the longest-reigning leader in the Arab world, died on Friday at age 79.

The Sultan died after an almost 50-year rule and a hard battle with what was speculated to be colon cancer. 

Due to having no known brothers or children, Qaboos left no designated heir, with a big probability that a cousin will try to replace him in what looks like to be a controversial succession process. 

According to The Hill, Qaboos came into power after starting a coup against his father in 1970 at the age of 29.

The Hill writes that Qaboos is widely credited with implementing a litany of reforms in Oman, transforming a nation torn by civil war into a stable, oil-exporting country strategically located in the Persian Gulf that was able to make peace with neighbors. 

Oman while being under his rule became the first Gulf country to have trade ties with Israel, maintain peaceful ties with the U.S., Saudi Arabia as well as Iran, despite the three countries’ dueling interests. 

“We do not have any conflicts and we do not put fuel on the fire when our opinion does not agree with someone,” Qaboos told a Kuwaiti newspaper in a 2008 interview. 

He also oversaw reforms at home that outpaced those of several of Oman’s Gulf neighbors, such as giving women the right to vote in the 1990s and allowing them to run for public office.

However, in the 21st century, his rule was marked by protests over government corruption.

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