Nation-building and communities in Oman since 1970 : the Swahili-speaking Omanis in search of identity
Title: Nation-building and communities in Oman since 1970 : the Swahili-speaking Omanis in search of identity
Author: VALERI, Marc
Citation: African Affairs, 2007, Vol. 106, No. 424, pp. 479-496
ISSN: 0001-9909; 1468-2621
Since 1970, building a new national identity by reunifying Oman's ethno-linguistic groups has been at the heart of Sultan Qaboos's political project. This paper focuses on the place of Omani who returned from the former colonies of Zanzibar and East Africa, responding to Sultan Qaboos's call to ‘nationals’ abroad. While they played a leading role in the modernization process of the Sultanate, these Swahili-speaking Omani faced prejudices from the population who stayed at home and were forced to give guarantees to the others of their full belonging to the nation. As a consequence, despite their internal differences, they have progressively developed a new collective identity, which has its raison d'être within the framework of the modern Omani State, and can only be explained by the necessity to find their place in it.
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