Former Zanzibar sultan settles in Oman

Former Zanzibar sultan set to settle in Oman after decades-long bid for residency
2 min read
15 September, 2020
Former Zanzibar Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah Al-Said is believed to have landed in Oman after living for 50 years in the United Kingdom.
The former sultan was expected to arrive in Muscat this week [Getty]
Zanzibar's former ruler, Jamshid bin Abdullah Al-Said, was expected to arrive in Muscat on Monday evening after his request to retire in the Gulf state was granted by Sultan Haitham Al-Said.

Jamshid bin Abdullah, now aged 90, had been living in exile in Portsmouth in the UK after a bloody revolution on the East African island in 1964 forced the former sultan to flee for Oman, and then on to the UK.

His repeated petitions to settle down in the sultanate were denied by the Omani government under the late sultan, Qaboos bin Said, due to political and security issues.

Last week saw the surprise news that his request for residency had finally been accepted under Oman's new ruler Sultan Haithem Al-Said.

Jamshed bin Abdullah is believed to have arrived in Muscat on Monday evening, although the Omani government has not officially commented on the matter.

"We are expecting him to arrive in Muscat in the evening flight. His request to retire in Oman has been granted by the government due to his old age. He always wanted to spend his last days in the country of his ancestors and now he is happy he can do that," a member of his family told The National.

Oman has a large Swahili-speaking population who have their roots in the sultanate, despite generations living in Zanzibar, Rwanda and other parts of East Africa.

Most left Zanzibar following the 1964 uprising which saw the massacre of thousands of the island's Arab population.

Jamshid bin Abdullah has been living in Portsmouth since then, which also has a small Zanzibari population.

Sultan Qaboos gave refuge to Zanzibaris of Omani origin after coming to power in 1970, with much of the population - scattered across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East - moving to the sultanate.

They have since played a key role in the modernisation of the country after decades of neglect under Sultan Qaboos' father, Sultan Said bin Taimur.

Read also: Zanzibar - Arabs, Africans and a forgotten legacy of slavery and ethnic cleansing

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