Dhofar early 70's - Oman
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    Photographs of Dhofar in Southern Oman taken during the "secret war" period in the early 70's
Dhofar in the early 70's
I was fortunate to spend a year in Dhofar, Southern Oman in the early seventies during the "secret war" period of the country's history.
After a coup -  Sultan Qaboos  took over power from his despotic father and brought the country into the 20th century.
The Dhofaris who supported the Marxist rebels changed allegiance to the new Sultan who offered them an amnesty and a Belgian FN rifle in exchange for their AK47.
Dhofar is one of the most beautiful parts of the world and the Dhofari people are also  the most beautiful people in the world  - residents of "The Last Corner of Arabia".
Three Wise Men - These were the elders of a small village in the Jebel - An appropriate title since this part of the world is steeped in Mythology and history ( Frankincense trees still grow here, the Queen of Sheba was seemingly a former resident and Sinbad the Sailor lived up the coast.)
©Copyright - Niall Cotton - all rights reserved 2015
Local Firquat malitia under a "tafudel" tree - I enjoyed sitting with these guys chatting about life - the guy in the foreground asked me jf it was true that people in "Baritani" sent their elders into old people's homes when they were too old to be "useful."- I had to admit that he was right  - much to the astonishment of his colleagues.
©Copyright - Niall Cotton - all rights reserved 2015
Dhofari youth - the kid in front is holding a toy pistol (they are fans of American cowboy films)
The lad at the back is holding a real one - he is a member of the local Firquat. I will never foget his name - Mohammad Ali.
©Copyright - Niall Cotton - all rights reserved 2015
A very rare photograph of an Omani Girl.  She is the daughter of the NaibWali (Sheik) of a small village on the PDRY border. He was a really switched on nice guy and we met a number of times to chat - she would sit about and listen in. One day he asked if I would like to take her picture.
©Copyright - Niall Cotton - all rights reserved 2015
Baluchistani members of the Frontier Force
©Copyright - Niall Cotton - all rights reserved 2015
90 year old re-building his house after the bad guys have trashed it.
©Copyright - Niall Cotton - all rights reserved 2015
Big dune in the Empty Quarter - a highly recommended  picnic spot 150 miles from any "civilisation"
I had a group of friends who would break the rules and venture out into the Rub al Khali for a weekend. We would sit on top of dunes  with a Mk1 Ghetto Blaster listening to "Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd and drink copious amounts of wine, eat steak off a barbeque, watch satellites crossing the sky and speak fluent rubbish - very decadent.
©Copyright - Niall Cotton - all rights reserved 2015