Wednesday, October 14, 2020

2020 Travel the World - Week 41

I started a Travel the World Series last year. (It should be noted that I did a similar thing in 2018, only it was the 50 states.) For 50 weeks in 2019, I visited a different country (virtually) and shared facts about that country. I then selected one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. Fifty weeks; fifty countries... BUT there are 195 countries in the world so that was just a little over 25% of them. Of course I couldn't stop, so this year I'm continuing with fifty more countries, one per week.

This week's country is...


Oman is a small country located in the far southeastern part of the Arab Peninsula.

It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest.

Oman's land area is composed of varying topographic features: valleys and desert account for 82% of the land mass; mountain ranges, 15%; and the coastal plain, 3%.

Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world. It is estimated that humans have been living in Oman for at least 106,000 years, making it one of the oldest human-inhabited countries in the world.

Almost half of the residents of Oman are under the age of 15.

Oman has an ever-growing literacy rate. In 2003, the rate was good enough and 81.36% and then it skyrocketed to a humongous figure of 93.04% in 2015. The net enrollment ratio of students stands at a shopping 94.12%, which makes Oman a land of well-educated citizens.

Muscat is the capital and the largest metropolitan city of Oman. Low lying white buildings typify most of Muscat's urban landscape.

In Oman, structures of any kind ranging from office complexes to malls are whitewashed, and any other color requires prior permission from the government with adequate reasons.

The coastline of Oman is nearly 2,000 miles long.

When looking at the map of Oman, it looks like a small peninsula in the sense that it is surrounded by water from three different directions; north, east, and south. Given its long coastline, its closeness to two important gulfs, and its closeness to the Oman Sea and to the Indian Ocean, early in their history, the Omanis turned to shipbuilding as one of their main jobs and sources of income. Not only did they practice the industry of shipbuilding, they perfected it. Today Omanis are regarded as some of the best ship builders in the world.

Traditional wooden ships are built alongside modern boats in Oman today.

Green turtles, which are endangered, migrate to Omani beaches to lay their eggs. Special tours are organized to witness this unique process which takes place early in the morning, before sunrise. Visitors can also witness baby turtles hatching and returning to the sea.

Oman has over 500 forts and castles.

Omani architecture features unique design and structure. All Omani forts, castles, buildings, palaces, and even houses are good examples. Almost every Omani house has an ornamental or uniquely decorated door.

Having an inexplicable penchant for eccentric doors comes along with being an Omani. The entries are adorned with small decorations that add to the overall look of the facade and make it pleasing to look at.

Abundance of oil and no taxes have made transportation costs cheap in Oman, enable most Omani to own a vehicle. Therefore public transportation is fairly uncommon in the country. 

If a traffic control authority finds any vehicle dirty, the owner of the vehicle has to pay a fine.

Oman takes keeping public peace seriously. For instance, the Omani are prohibited from honking their vehicle's horns unless the direst of situations demand it.

Oman is one of the safest and most secure countries in the Arab world.

The best time to visit Oman is in the winter months. The summers are blistering hot, but the winters feature an almost Mediterranean climate.

Up until 1970, there were no hotels in the country, but today there are hundreds of them.

The national animal of Oman is the endangered Arabian Oryx, a white antelope with a unique shoulder bump, long straight horns, and a tufted tail.

The falcon is the national bird.

Oman is famous for its pure-bred Arabian horses and has a centuries-old horse breeding history. The horses are quite expensive and sold throughout the world.

The majority of Omanis are involved in farming and/or fishing industries. Protection of the country's fisheries and coastal zones is promoted.

Oman grow dates, lime, alfalfa, and bananas. They raise camels and catch fish, too.

Major exports of the country include petroleum, fish, metals, and textiles.

Often times, communication in Oman is indirect. For instance, they would say Hot tea would warm a man in this weather rather than Could I have tea please. They also tend to avoid confrontation of any kind.

Taking photos of people without their permission is prohibited in Oman.

Public use of some forms of language is illegal in Oman. These include obscene words, aggressive words, and abusive words.

Men are not allowed to wear shorts and sleeveless shirts in public. This is viewed as excessively casual and provocative.

The people of Oman believe a simple smile could be misunderstood and could lead to very severe consequences; therefore, smiling is to be avoided.

Oman is one of the few countries in the world where frankincense trees are grown naturally.

The cuisine of Oman is a mixture of several staples of Asian foods. Dishes are often based on chicken, fish, and lamb, as well as the staple of rice. Most Omani dishes tend to contain a rich mixture of spices, herbs, and marinades.

Coffee is the national beverage, while tea is drunk for hospitality.

Drinking coffee is a long process and is enjoyed slowly with company. Drinking coffee in the middle of the day allows Omani to catch up with their friends or co-workers. They pour a very small amount of coffee in the cup to take small sips, and refill the cup many times until they are satisfied. This style of slow coffee drinking and conversation is an important part of the culture of Oman.

Says one tourist: Coffee is superb in Oman and it is always served with dates.

Tipping is not encouraged in Oman. A small service charge might be required at some f the more luxurious city restaurants, but tipping is not expected. Even taxi drivers do not take tips unless they help customers with their bags.

If you want to buy alcohol in Oman, you have to have a license. Even then, Omanis are allowed to spend no more than 10% of their monthly income on alcohol.

I decided to let this Oman fact be the inspiration for this week's card... Mountain Dew is the top selling beverage in Oman. Pepsi products are much more common that Coca-Cola products there.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp/Die Set
: MFT Soda Pop stamped with SU Lemon Lime Twist and Real Red Ink

Ink (for blending): SU Lemon Lime Twist

Papers: Accent Opaque 120# White and SU Lemon Lime Twist, Metallic Silver, and Real Red CS

Die: MFT Wonky Stitch Rectangle

Embellishments: Gina Marie Clear Dots


Holstein said...

Enjoyed your blog post today about Oman. Sounds like a very peaceful place. Thanks for sharing.

kiwimeskreations said...

What an amazing country -thanks for this post Jeanette - love the inspiration for the card, and how you have interpreted it.
Stay safe

Lynn McAuley said...

What a fun card with your die cut bottles of Dew!! Who knew!