Middle East protests: Oman's peaceful anti-corruption march.

Notes from different corners of the world.
Feb. 18 2011 11:22 AM

Elsewhere in the Arabian Gulf

A peaceful anti-corruption protest in Oman.

Some of the 350 protesters who marched through the Omani capital of Muscat Friday.
Some of the 350 protesters who marched through the Omani capital of Muscat Friday

MUSCAT, Oman—About 350 protesters marched through the Omani capital of Muscat Friday afternoon chanting against corruption and demanding to know where their country's oil proceeds have gone. Like Bahrain, also in the Arabian Gulf, the Sultanate of Oman is a monarchy, but its ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, is generally revered here. Still, there is a growing disconnect between the nation's youth and their parents, who remember what Oman was like 40 years ago, before Sultan Qaboos came to power, building schools, encouraging trade, and developing the economy.

The crowd was a diverse mix of young and old Omanis, mostly men but with some women. As is customary in Oman, the marchers wore traditional dress. One young man wore a T-shirt that proclaimed, "I love hate." He declined to be interviewed.

Protesters carried signs that read, "No to Expensive Prices, No to Corruption," "Where Is Democracy?" and "Wasta [Cronyism] Kills Competence."

Some of the 350 protesters who marched through the Omani capital of Muscat Friday.
Omani protesters
Advertisement

Friday's march, the largest in Oman since unrest broke out in the Middle East, was peaceful, and protesters clashed only once with police when they were blocked from entering an intersection and disrupting traffic. The police and army officers allowed the protesters to walk a few hundred feet into the road. Representatives of the protesters and authorities shouted and argued, but no weapons were drawn, and the crowd quickly quieted and retreated, marching back the way it came, past government ministries.

At each ministry, the protesters stopped and shouted "No, no, no to corruption!" At some ministries, the crowd shouted specific slogans, such as, "Where is the money from oil and gas?" But when the crowd started to shout about particular ministers, the organizers quickly stopped them and encouraged the protesters not to insult individuals.

Some of the 350 protesters who marched through the Omani capital of Muscat Friday.
Omani protesters

.

Like  Slate on Facebook. Follow  Slate and the  Slate Foreign Desk on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.