BLOG POSTS by Tony

Tim Mackintosh-Smith talks ‘Arabs’

The British-Yemeni Society, The International Association for the Study of Arabia and the MBI Al Jaber Foundation were hosting Tim Mackintosh-Smith in conversation with Ian Black on the book ‘Arabs’ by Tim.

With a break in the gales over Britian and the overcast weather breaking into a bright, sunny day, I took the opportunity to walk to SOAS, where the conversation would take place, and pass through the British Museum on my way to hear them.

Hidden in the museum’s Sir Percival David Collection I found a Ming Dynasty ceramic, which shows the reach of the Arab language and, as a result, Arab world. It’s a piece that may have been a prayer focus for a Muslim at the Ming court.

Ming Dynasty Jingdezhen Tablet in Arabic Script AD 1506-21
Ming Dynasty Jingdezhen Tablet in Arabic Script AD 1506-21

Deeper inside the Museum I cam across the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World where I found a piece to get me in the mood for Tim Mackintosh-Smith’s overview, a rather splendid Yemeni Jambiyya. Its sheath is covered in gilded filigree, while the fantastic belt is leather with silk and silver embroidery.

Yemeni Jambiyya 1970-1976 British Museum
Yemeni Jambiyya 1970-1976 British Museum

Tim’s talk was well attended and though to help promote his book, I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone already had a copy. He was remarkably  a character in the book about Yemen by Eric Hansen ‘Motoring with Mohammed’ (under a pseudonym Martin Plimsole) in which he was portrayed as a connoisseur of the rituals and chewing of Qat.

Eric Hansen ‘Motoring with Mohammed’
Eric Hansen ‘Motoring with Mohammed’

He still is and noted that the leaf was listed as a narcotic in Britain by Theresa May, who went against the advice of here own expert advisers and banned it. One particular reminiscence I enjoyed was Tim recounting a

Arabs by Tim Mackintosh Smith
Arabs by Tim Mackintosh Smith

visit he made to the home of a family in Mali, whose ancestors also hosted the Arab traveller Ibn Battuta. Almost 700 years ago Ibn Battuta made a journey through the Arab’s lands, aided by their common language and religion, and onto China in which Arabic was already a language of trade.

Succession in Oman after the death of Sultan Qaboos

The much mourned death of Sultan Qaboos now means that Oman’s law of succession comes into force.

Sultan Qaboos Al Said
Sultan Qaboos Al Said

Sultan Qaboos, who has ruled Oman since 1970, drew up Continue reading “Succession in Oman after the death of Sultan Qaboos”

Sultan Qaboos died 10th of January 2020 – an Obituary of Sultan Qaboos

The very sad news that H.M. Sultan Qaboos died on 10th January 2020, has been announced. There will be an official period of three days mourning, and all flags in Oman will be flown at half mast for 40days.

Born on 18th November 1940, Qaboos bin Said bin Taimur Al Said was the 14th Al Said ruler of Oman. His father Sultan Said ruled Oman from 1932 to 1970 when, during a civil war in Oman’s southern province of Dhofar, Sultan Qaboos became ruler aged 29.

Sultan Qaboos London 1963
Sultan Qaboos London 1963

Sultan Qaboos, the only son of Sultan Said, was Continue reading “Sultan Qaboos died 10th of January 2020 – an Obituary of Sultan Qaboos”

Prince William visits Oman for a short visit after arriving from Kuwait

Prince William flew in from Kuwait to visit Oman in early December 2019. Sultan Qaboos met with him in Bait Al Baraka.

 

Sultan Qaboos meets Prince William
Sultan Qaboos meets Prince William

On Prince William’s arrival he first went to Khasab where he was received by Sayyid Ibrahim bin Said al Busaidy Governor of Musandam.

Prince William and Sayyid Ibrahim bin Said al Busaidy, Governor of Musandam
Prince William and Sayyid Ibrahim bin Said al Busaidy, Governor of Musandam

Then he flew into Muscat Continue readingPrince William visits Oman for a short visit after arriving from Kuwait

St. Francis Xavier Church – Salalah Oman

Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla – the Vatican’s Apostolic Nuncio (diplomat) to Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Qatar (strangely he doesn’t look after Oman) – and Dr. Ahmed Khamis Masood Al Bahri, director in Oman’s Ministry of Religious Endowments and Religious Affairs of Oman inaugurated St. Francis Xavier Church in Salalah, Oman.

St. Francis Xavier in Salalah
Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla , Dr. Ahmed Khamis Masood Al Bahri & Bishop Paul Hinder

The event was celebrated Continue reading “St. Francis Xavier Church – Salalah Oman”

Airbnb Adventures in Oman with Six Strangers from around the world

Airbnb took Six Strangers from around the world and sent them on the first Airbnb adventure where you can “ditch the tourist trails and go deeper with wildly unique adventures around the world”. Where would Airbnb send them? 24 hours later they landed in Continue readingAirbnb Adventures in Oman with Six Strangers from around the world

Doha’s Museums

Doha’s Museums include these three ‘must see’, when you stay in the city.

The design of the new National Museum of Qatar is based on the crystal structure of the Desert Rose, a small accretion of gypsum and sand. It surrounds the original National Museum which was in its turn twentieth-century palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani. The new building is formed of interconnected discs and designed by the architectural firm Jean Nouvel.

Exterior National Museum - Doha's Museums
National Museum – Doha

The intention is to Continue reading “Doha’s Museums”