Charles Pirie Photo Gallery – Oman 1966

Images of Oman in 1966 covering Muscat, Nizwa and Sohar and including subjects such as a tribal delegation going to see the Sultan, Muscat and Nizwa forts, Sultan’s Armed Forces soldiers and outpost, market scenes and the Oman coastline.

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This is a tribal delegation who were making their way to the Sultan’s palace for an audience with the Sultan.Same delegation from the rear.
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The delegation entering the gate to the outer courtyard of the palace.One of the two forts guarding Muscat harbour.
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Uniformed members of palace guard Muscat.Old cannon in a Muscat street.
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Old cannon in a Muscat street.Door into outer courtyard, Sultan’s palace with one of the guards.
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Soldiers of the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF). Many of the Europeans serving with the SAF were seconded from the British armed forces. However there were a substantial number of ‘contract’ officers who served and were in essence ‘mercenaries’.Camel going through gate in Nizwa fort.
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One of the gated entrances into Muscat. At 6pm each day a cannon was fired and shortly after this the gates were locked. No one was allowed in or out until they were unlocked at 6am the next day. In 1966 it was still prohibited to be out at night without carrying a lit lamp and if found in a street without one, it was assumed you were up to no good and arrested. Smoking in public was also prohibited at this time and to do so invited ones arrest.An outpost of the SAF.
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Part of the souk in Muscat. Note the English signage. There was no tourism in 1966. It might have been for the benefit of sailors of the Royal Navy who made frequent courtesy visits to Muscat.Outside the Muscat city walls.
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Sunset over the date palms Sohar.A typical wadi in the Oman hinterland.
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Cameleers preparing a camel train in Nizwa.Old gun battery, Muscat harbour fortress.
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View of harbour from gun battery of Muscat harbour fortress.View of Oman coastline.
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Cove where we swam during our stay in Muscat.The second of the two fortresses that guarded the harbour. During a tour of these fortresses we were shown prison cells which consisted of a compartment six feet from the floor and approximately 8ft wide by 4ft deep. There was a male prisoner chained to the back wall and we were told that it was his families’ responsibility to come each day and feed the prisoner.
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Burami fortresses where we camped overnight before crossing the nearby border into Oman.RAF aircraft that land on a gravel plain to re-supply us. I managed to get the young boy and his donkey to stand in from of the plane and the landrover to illustrate the means of transport over the ages.
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Inspecting the guard (Oman Gendarmes) at their headquarters in Sohar.Date palms in Sohar.
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Barrack building Gendarmes HQ Sohar.Another view of RAF supply aircraft.
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Nizwa as seen from the fortress.Muscat as seen from the fortress.
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Another view of one of the fortresses guarding Muscat harbour.View of typical Oman landscape.
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Market day Nizwa.Some of the scout armoured cars parked in date palms Sohar.
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A gunner’s view of Muscat.Looking into the mouth of a bottle dungeon, Nizwa fortress. It was apparently still in use. This was confirmed by the pungent smell that emanated from it. We were told it was the families’ responsibility to feed the prisoner.
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Mounting the guard at the police barracks Sohar.Another view of Nizwa.
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Another view of Muscat.Residents of Nizwa going about their daily lives under the shadow of Nizwa fortress.
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Part of the battlements of Muscat fortress.