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Oman

Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan of Oman

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 09, 2014 at 15:15:40 :: Oman

Sultan Qaboos Mosque in Salalah, province of Dhofar, OmanOman (Arabic: عمان‎ ʻUmān), officially called the Sultanate of Oman (Arabic: سلطنة عُمان‎ Salṭanat ʻUmān), is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast.

Oman is an absolute monarchy in which the Sultan of Oman exercises ultimate authority but its parliament has some legislative and oversight powers. In November 2010, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) listed Oman, from among 135 countries worldwide, as the nation most-improved during the preceding 40 years. According to international indices, Oman is one of the most developed and stable countries in the Arab world.

Qaboos bin Said Al Said (Arabic: قابوس بن سعيد آل سعيد‎ Qābūs bin Saʿīd ʾĀl Saʿīd; born 18 November 1940) is the Sultan of Oman and its Dependencies. He rose to power after overthrowing his father, Said bin Taimur, in a palace coup in 1970. He is the 14th-generation descendant of the founder of the Al Bu Sa'idi dynasty.

For six years prior to Said bin-Taymur's overthrow, Qaboos experienced virtual house-arrest in the Royal Palace of Salalah. In July 1970, soldiers supporting Qaboos clashed with forces loyal to Said bin-Taymur and deposed him. Qaboos maintains that his father abdicated the throne. The British government helped to consolidate Qaboos' power.

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Retezat National Park

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 05, 2008 at 15:22:17 :: Romania

Retezat National Park, located in Hunedoara county, is the oldest National Park in Romania; it was established in 1935 and it's mai objectives were to conserve the landscape and the endemic flora found here. Altitudes vary between 794m at the park entry on Râu Mare valley and 2509m at Peleaga Peak.

Papusa Peak (Păpuşa - Varful Păpuşa, 2508m), important peak in the Retezat Mountains. The highest peak is Peleaga (Vârful Peleaga, 2509 metres).


Containing more than 60 peaks over 7,500 feet (2,300 m) and over 100 crystal clear deep glacier lakes, the Retezat Mountains are some of the most beautiful in the Carpathians and include Romania's first national park. Retezat National Park is a natural reserve area covering more than 275 sq mi (710 km2)., including 4.500 square acres in a strictly protected scientific reserve area called "Gemenele".

The Retezat Mountains can be found in this Park, with the highest peak being Peleaga Peak at 2509 meters. The name derives from the name of the mountains and retezat means in Romanian "cut off", alluding to their shape. It also includes about 80 glacier lakes.

Retezat Mountains lake, Retezat Mountains which also contains the Retezat National Park, Romania's first national park


Flora is known to be very rich, with almost 1200 plant species from about 3600 found in Romania. Having a third of the Romania flora present here was one of the main reasons to designate the area as a National Park.

Fauna is also very rich, mainly because of the diversity of habitats found here, but also because the human impact is still small. There are no permanent settlements inside the park.

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UNESCO World Heritage

Oman, Aflaj Irrigation Systems of Oman

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 01, 2013 at 04:59:01

Location Dakhiliya, Sharqiya and Batinah Regions, Oman
Coordinates N22 59 56 E57 32 9.8
Property 1,456 ha
Date of Inscription 2006

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1207 )

The property includes five aflaj irrigation systems and is representative of some 3,000 such systems still in use in Oman. The origins of this system of irrigation may date back to AD 500, but archaeological evidence suggests that irrigation systems existed in this extremely arid area as early as 2500 BC. Using gravity, water is channelled from underground sources or springs to support agriculture and domestic use. The fair and effective management and sharing of water in villages and towns is still underpinned by mutual dependence and communal values and guided by astronomical observations. Numerous watchtowers built to defend the water systems form part of the site reflecting the historic dependence of communities on the aflaj system. Threatened by falling level of the underground water table, the aflaj represent an exceptionally well-preserved form of land use.

Photos from Landolia

Aflaj Irrigation System of Oman Water way, Aflaj Irrigation System of Oman

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Oman, Land of Frankincense

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 01, 2013 at 04:51:43

Location Dhofar Province, Oman
Coordinates N18 15 11.988 E53 38 51.324
Property 850 ha
Date of Inscription 2000

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1010 )

The frankincense trees of Wadi Dawkah and the remains of the caravan oasis of Shisr/Wubar and the affiliated ports of Khor Rori and Al-Baleed vividly illustrate the trade in frankincense that flourished in this region for many centuries, as one of the most important trading activities of the ancient and medieval world.

Photos from Landolia

Frankincense trees, Land of Frankincense Khor Rori, Land of Frankincense

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


Oman, Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 01, 2013 at 04:43:10

Location Al Dhahira region, Oman
Coordinates N23 16 11.496 E56 44 42
Date of Inscription 1988

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/434 )

The protohistoric site of Bat lies near a palm grove in the interior of the Sultanate of Oman. Together with the neighbouring sites, it forms the most complete collection of settlements and necropolises from the 3rd millennium B.C. in the world.

Photos from Landolia

Archaeological Site of Bat Grave, Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


Oman, Bahla Fort

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 19, 2010 at 05:51:15

Location Oasis of Bahla, 25 km west of Nazwa, Oman
Coordinates N22 57 51.012 E57 18 3.996
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/433 )

The oasis of Bahla owes its prosperity to the Banu Nebhan, the dominant tribe in the area from the 12th to the end of the 15th century. The ruins of the immense fort, with its walls and towers of unbaked brick and its stone foundations, is a remarkable example of this type of fortification and attests to the power of the Banu Nebhan.

Photos from Landolia

Bahla Fort Bahla Fort

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map



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