Where Time Stood Still: a portrait of Oman by Duchess of St Albans, 1980
The Duchess of St Albans travelled to Oman shortly after the current Sultan, Qaboos bin Said, took power, deposing his father in the 1970 coup d’état. Her visit was welcomed and she was able to travel the country with ease, a journey that she recounts along with the history of the place.
Time had indeed stood still under the leadership of Said bin Taimur, and his son made huge changes, introducing roads, schools and hospitals. Ironically, much of the country now looks much newer than it would have done when the Duchess was there, with stunning new architecture and almost entire reconstruction of some of its older structures.
There is another book that I would have featured along with my coffee today, but I can’t find it. So much for my organised home library! It is The English Girl by Katherine Webb, an adventurous story in the deserts and mountains of Oman, fluently combined with romance. The author clearly researched the history and geography of the country, and her characters made several appearances, guiding me well, as I made my own exploration of Oman in late 2018.
Oman, December 2018
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 30 April 2020
Posted as part of #acoffeeandabook series