On Friday, January 10, 2020, Oman witnessed the death of its monarch, Qaboos Bin Said Al Said while he was 79 years of age. He was ruling over Oman which is home to 4.6 million people for about five decades since 1970 after he dethroned his father with the help of Britain at the age of 29. Though there had been no reason stated of death, it is believed to be due to the colon cancer he was suffering from. He returned from Belgium only a month ago after going through the treatment of cancer.
Qaboos Bin Said Al Said was born on November 18, 1940, and was the world’s longest-serving ruler at the time of his demise. He is known to be a peace working ruler who advanced and bettered the relations of Oman with other countries. In Oman, the Sultan is known to be the supreme power as he enjoys being Prime Minister of the nation, supreme commander of the army, Defence Minister, Finance Minister and Foreign Minister.
Since Qaboos Al Said never married and did not have any children, his cousin and Culture Minister of Oman, Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said is chosen to be the next Sultan of Oman. Oman has a tradition of choosing the sultan by the royal family within three days of the death of the ruler. On failing to do so, a letter which is written to the family by the ruler is opened to choose the ruler as per the will of the Sultan. Everyone has unanimously decided as per the will of Sultan to name Haitham Bin Tariq as the new ruler of Oman. Three days of mourning are to be observed in Oman and the flag will be half-mast for 40 days.
Ministry of Home Affairs in India has declared state mourning to be observed on January 13. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Saturday expressing his gloom over the unfortunate death of the ruler. The heads of the United Kingdom, Qatar, Pakistan, UAE, United States, Turkey and Israel, and United Nations secretary, Antonio Guterres expressed their disappointment over the demise of the leader. His funeral ceremony in Muscat was attended by Emirs of Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and the king of Bahrain to express their grief over the loss of the leader’s life.