HomeOman over Times: A Nation from the Nahda to the Oman Vision 2040

HomeOman over Times: A Nation from the Nahda to the Oman Vision 2040

Oman over Times: A Nation from the Nahda to the Oman Vision 2040

Oman au fil du temps : une nation de la Nahda à l’Oman Vision 2040

عمان على مر الزمن: دولة من النهضة إلى الرؤية عمان 2040

Arabian Humanities Thematic Issue No. 15 (Spring 2021)

Arabian Humanities, dossier thématique n° 15 (printemps 2021)

Arabian Humanities رقم 15، ربيع 2021

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Published on Friday, March 27, 2020


This issue of Arabian Humanities proposes to offer a multidisciplinary overview of the Sultanate of Oman contemporary period by bringing together old and recent works. It will focus as much on its history as on the major social and cultural changes that have taken place in its society. The aim is to explore the different aspects that can be observed today and which contribute to a better understanding of this country over time.



  • Maho Sebiane (EHESS-CEFAS)
  • Sterenn Le Maguer-Gillon (CEFAS) 
  • Marion Breteau (CEFAS)


“Developing the future vision (Oman 2040) with mastery and high precision in light of broad societal consensus and with the participation of all segments of society. The vision should be relevant to the socio-economic context and objectively foresee the future, to be recognized as a guide and key reference for planning activities in the next two decades.”

Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Royal Directive of December 22, 2013

After a relative economic seclusion and, as it were, no asphalt roads, schools and hospitals during the first half of the 20th century, the Sultanate of Oman began a long march for development from the 1970s onwards (e.g. Wilkinson 1987; Le Cour Grandmaison 2000; Dumortier & Lavergne 2002). It has experienced a formidable "renaissance" (nahda) through major infrastructure and urbanization projects (e.g. Townsend 1977; Plekhanov 2004; Wippel 2013a, Von Richthofen 2016). This opening to the outside world and to a modern economy has propelled the country into an unprecedented economic and societal revolution (e.g. Peterson 1978; Skeet 1992). This nation-state testifies today to an in-depth transformation of a multiple society, while attempting to combine historical heritage and modernization taken as the foundation of a strong identity in the Gulf region and beyond (e.g. Valeri 2007; Pappas 2015). Given its geographical location as a strategic and economic crossroads, this country participates, in the management of the Gulf's access routes to the Indian Ocean along with the Strait of Hormuz (e.g. Villiers 1969; Mery 2000; Nicollini 2004; Agius 2005). It establishes an undeniable historical and cultural junction between the Arab world of West Asia, East Africa and the Indian world at the beginning of the 21st century.  

The Oman Vision 2040 thus appears as a turning point in the recent history of this nation. If it is in continuity with the “renaissance” initiated by the sultan Qaboos Bin Said (1940 – 2020) on November 18th, 1974, it also suggests a substantial paradigm shift. Indeed, this project is defined as a “gateway” to overcome the challenges of worldwide changes that the new generation of the Sultanate’s citizens has to confront; to stimulate growth; and to promotes economic competitiveness and social well-being. Thus, introduced as a “reinforcement” for the sustainable development, this vision for the future prefigures transformations that will involve new changes in society. A page in Oman's long history is turning, a new one is opening out.

This issue of Arabian Humanities proposes to make a multidisciplinary inventory of the Sultanate of Oman contemporary period by bringing together old and recent research works. They may relate as much to its history as to the great social and cultural changes that have crossed its society. It is about exploring the different aspects that can be observed today and which contribute to a better understanding of this country over time. What were the major stages of national construction and this economic and cultural "renaissance" in the light of its past history? In what ways the development of this geographic and human territory is articulated? How has Omani society, in all its diversity, contributed to this contemporary transformation? And how does this society look at its past?

The proposed articles are invited to explore the historical, anthropological, sociological and cultural dimension through the Oman Vision 2040 themes which, without being exclusive, can be associated and articulated in their words: The cultural dimension of a "creative" society - A nation state in "sustainable development" - Natural resources and environmental protection - The modernization of "the responsible state". The articles may also focus on Oman narratives. It will be a question of exploring the historical development of commercial and cultural relations between Arabia, Indian Ocean and beyond from Antiquity to our days, their insertion in the collective representations, and their projections in the national narrative of the multiple constituent elements of contemporary Omani culture. Therein, the dynamics of archaeological programs, the increase in the number of thematic museums and all kinds of festivals over the past three decades, testify to the great interest carried by the Omani State on the heritage of the nation and the commitment of citizens in its valuation.

Submission Guidelines

Articles can be written in Arabic, English, or French. The texts must be accessible to a multidisciplinary audience. Articles must be between 8000 and 10 000 words, notes and bibliography included.

The proposals (300-350 words) must specify main research questions and arguments, and the empirical basis of the proposed paper. Proposals must also include a short biography of the author (name and surname, institutional affiliation and function, address, telephone number and e-mail address) and the main bibliographical references.

The proposals must be sent before April 25, 2020, to:

Maho Sebiane (maho.sebiane@ehess.fr), Sterenn Le Maguer-Gillon (sterenn.lemaguer@gmail.com), Marion Breteau (marionbreteau@hotmail.fr) and Sylvaine Giraud (edition@cefas.com.ye).

The contributions are expected by June 30, 2020.

See Arabian Humanities’ publication guidelines: https://journals.openedition.org/cy/2010

Indicative bibliography

AGIUS Dionisius, Seafaring in the Arabian Gulf and Oman. The people of the dhow, Routledge, Londres, 2005.

AL HARTHY Sharifa & RENARD Olivier, « Le système éducatif dans le Sultanat d’Oman », Revue internationale d’éducation de Sèvres [En ligne], No. 49, 2008, URL : http://ries.revues.org/585

AL-ADAWI Samir, “Mental health services in Oman: the need for more cultural relevance”, Oman Medical Journal, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2017, p. 83-85.

AL-AZRI Khalid M., Social and Gender Inequality in Oman: The Power of Religious and Political Tradition, Routledge, London, 2013.

AL QASIMI Mohammad, Les relations entre Oman et la France, 1715-1905, L'Harmattan, Paris, 2000.

BARTH Fredrik, Sohar: Culture and Society in an Omani Town, Baltimore (Mass.), Johns Hopkins University Press, Londres, 1983.

BEAUDEVIN Claire, “Cousin marriages and inherited blood disorders in the Sultanate of Oman”, in Alison SHAW & Aviad RAZ (éds.), Cousin marriage: between Tradition, genetic risk and Cultural change, Berghahn Books, London & New York, 2015.

CHRISTENSEN Dieter & EL-SHAWAN CASTELO-BRANCO Salwa, Traditional Arts in Southern Arabia Music and Society in Sohar, Intercultural Music Studies (14), Verlag fur Wissenschaft und Bildung, Berlin, 2009.

CLEUZIOU Serge & TOSI Maurizio, In the Shadow of the Ancestors. The Prehistoric Foundations of the Early Arabian Civilization in Oman, Ministère du Patrimoine et de la Culture, Mascate, 2007.

DUMORTIER Brigitte & LAVERGNE Marc, L'Oman contemporain : État, territoire, identité, Karthala, Paris, 2002.

GUGOLZ Alessandro, “The Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Sultanate of Oman”, International Journal of Cultural Property, 5(2), 1996, p. 291-309.

JOYCE Paul & AL RASHEED Turki F., Public governance and strategic management capabilities: public governance in the Gulf states, Routledge, New York, 2018.

KLINGER Thibaut, « Le “branding“ et l’aménagement du territoire à Oman », Arabian Humanities [En ligne], No. 11, 2019, URL : http://journals.openedition.org/cy/4241  

LE COUR GRANDMAISON Bruno, Le Sultanat d'Oman, Karthala, Paris, 2000.

LIMBERT Mandana E., In the time of oil. Piety, memory and social life in an Omani town, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2010.

LIMBERT Mandana E., “Marriage, status and the politics of nationality in Oman”, in Alanoud ALSHAREKH, The Gulf family: kinship policies and modernity, Saqi, Londres, 2007, p. 167-179.

MEHTA Sandhya Rao, “Connecting across the sea. Imaginative creations of the Indian diaspora in Oman”, in Ajaya K. SAHOO (éd.), Diaspora, development and distress:  21st century Indian immigrants in the Persian Gulf, Rawat Publishers, New Delhi, 2015, p. 83-89.

MERMIER Franck, « Oman : le sultan Qabous et la dynastie des Al Sa‘id », in Rémi LEVEAU & Abdellah HAMMOUDI, Monarchies arabes : transitions et dérives dynastiques, Les Études de la Documentation Française, Paris, 2002, p. 239 252.

MERY Sophie, Les céramiques d'Oman et l'Asie moyenne. Une archéologie des échanges à l'âge du Bronze, CNRS Édition, Paris, 2000.

NICOLLINI Beatrice, Makran, Oman and Zanzibar. Three-Terminal Cultural Corridor in the Western Indian Ocean (1799-1856), Series: Islam in Africa 3, Brill, Leiden, 2004.

PAPPAS FUNSCH Linda, Oman Reborn: Balancing Tradition and Modernization, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2015.

PETERSON John E., “Oman’s Diverse Society: Northern Oman “, Middle East Journal 51 (1), 2004a, p. 32–51.

PETERSON John E., “Oman’s Diverse Society: Southern Oman “, Middle East Journal 58 (2), 2004b, p. 254-269.

PETERSON John E., Oman in the Twentieth Century, Croom Helm, Londres, 1978.

PHILLIPS Wendell, Oman a History, Longmans, Londres, 1967.

PLEKHANOV Sergey, A Reformer on the Throne Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Trident Press Ltd, Cape Town, 2004.

POTTS Daniel T., The Arabian Gulf in Antiquity, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1990.

RISSE Marielle, Community and Autonomy in Southern Oman, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2019.

SEARLE Pauline, Dawn over Oman, Routledge Library Editions: Society of the Middle East, Abingdon-New York, [1975] 2017.

SKEET Ian, Oman: Politics and Development, Palgrave Macmillan, Londres, 1992.

TOWNSEND John, Oman. The Making of the Modern State, Croom Helm, Londres, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1977.

VALERI Marc, Le Sultanat d'Oman. Une révolution en trompe-l'œil, Karthala, Paris, 2007.

VILLIERS Alan, Sons of Sinbad, Scribner, New York, 1969.

VON RICHTHOFEN Aurel, “Visualizing urban form as mass ornament in Muscat capital area”, in Nadia MOUNAJJED (éds.), Visual Culture(s) in the Gulf: An Anthology, Gulf Research Centre, Cambridge, 2016, p. 137-138.

WILKINSON John C., The Imamate Tradition of Oman, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1987.

WILKINSON John C., The Arabs and the Scramble for Africa, Equinox Publishing, Sheffield & Bristol, 2015.

WIKAN Uni, Behind the Veil in Arabia. Women in Oman, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1982.

WIPPEL Steffen (éd.), Regionalizing Oman: Political, Economic and Social Dynamic, Springer, New York, 2013a.

WIPPEL Steffen, « Développement et fragmentation d’une ville moyenne en cours de mondialisation : le cas de Salalah (Oman) », Arabian Humanities [en ligne], No. 2, 2013b, URL : http://journals.openedition.org/cy/2599


  • Saturday, April 25, 2020


  • society, urbanization, modernization, identity, nation-state, global change


  • Laurent Bonnefoy
    courriel : laurent [dot] bonnefoy [at] sciencespo [dot] fr

Information source

  • Sylvaine Giraud
    courriel : edition [at] cefas [dot] com [dot] ye


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Oman over Times: A Nation from the Nahda to the Oman Vision 2040 », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, March 27, 2020, https://doi.org/10.58079/14rm

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