Uprisings spread to the Persian Gulf state of Oman

March 2, 2011

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(PPO via Getty Images/Omar Rashidi)
Oman's leader, Sultan Qaboos bin Said (right), pictured with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, is widely popular in Oman.

Four days of protests in Oman have raised eyebrows. Unlike many leaders in the region, the sultanate has been widely admired for reforms. The UN Development Program says it’s the most improved country in the world during the last 40 years.

Oman is an absolute monarchy ruled by the popular Sultan Qaboos bin Said since 1970, when he took over from his father. Though they’ve stopped short of calling for the sultan's ouster, the protesters still want more jobs, less corruption and more open media. We’ll talk about Oman’s situation with Middle East scholar Joe Kechichian who has traveled frequently to the Persian Gulf state.