Oman can pride itself on being ‘the most-improved nation in 40 years’, a title given by United Nations Development Programme in recognition of its booming economy. Officially called the Sultanate of Oman, the country is an absolute monarchy ruled by Qaboos bin Said al Said, the current Sultan of the Al Said dynasty. Between 1962 and 1976, the Sultanate was challenged by the Communist inspired Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman. The fighting took place entirely in the Dhofar region, where the rebels were also eventually defeated, the rebellion brought Sultan Qaboos to power and led to wide scale social changes in Oman and increased the pace of modernisation in the country.
Whilst Omani fiction is at present not widely available in translation there is a wide variety of books which depict Omani society and history. Jan Morris writes about the politics and history of the country in the book Sultan in Oman, which has been referred to as a ‘minor literary masterpiece’. Francis Owtram’s A Modern History of Oman reveals the way in Oman has developed over the last century. P.S. Allfree’s Warlords of Oman and W. Lynn Rigsbee’s Oman under Qaboos both look at the effect of Sultan Qaboos had on Omani society and politics.