Tribal Influence in Oman

Video Transcript

“Well again, I mentioned earlier the tribal factions, that is, I’m sure, a factor in the country. Interestingly, when I was at the Army Command and Staff College for a year studying there, there’s foreign officers that are brought, they come in and attend. And my table-mate happened to be an Omani infantry major. So I had, obviously, lots of time to get to know him. At one point we asked him, does he see himself becoming a general officer in the Omani Army, since he was selected to come to the States to attend this year-long course, and had fairly good English language skills. And he said, ‘No, I’m from the wrong family. I’ve got my, I’m going to go and maybe make colonel, or whatever. But I’m never going to be one of the real top dogs because I’m just the wrong,’ I think he used the word ‘family’ and not ‘tribe,’ but it’s the same kind of a deal. So that, I’m sure that goes on, there’s no doubt about it. But in my dealings with them, and it’s been a little while, I never noticed any particular social or cultural tensions between the two of them.”

In this video, a retired Army lieutenant colonel discusses how a person's tribal background can influence their social status.