Arab, Omani in Oman

Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Arab, Omani
Country: Oman
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 2,213,000
World Population: 3,036,200
Primary Language: Arabic, Omani Spoken
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Arab, Arabian
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Omani Arabs were among the first people in the Middle East to accept Islam. Arabs have inhabited the territory that is now Oman for thousands of years. Omanis at one time had influence along the East African coast including what is now Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar. Large numbers of Omanis migrated to Zanzibar and the Swahili coast of East Africa during a time when that was seen by them as a land of opportunity. They prospered there until a bloody revolution forced most of them to return to Oman. Today some of them are fleeing Oman because of poverty, seeking employment elsewhere. It is unlikely that Tanzania offers as good opportunities as some of the Gulf States closer to Oman. Omani Arabs originate in Oman, but they live in five other countries including Kenya and Tanzania.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Omani Arabs live in extended family units. Their society is patriarchal, or male-dominated. The men seldom abuse this authority because they believe that their families should obey them out of respect rather than fear. Also, there are clearly defined roles for both sexes. Even the children are given gender-specific duties. The men work outside in the fields while women work in the homes. Men and women often eat separately and never pray together. While men worship at mosques, women attend ceremonies conducted at home by female religious leaders. Marriages are generally pre-arranged by the parents. Children are a considered the family's greatest asset because they provide the parents with additional laborers and social security.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Oman Arabs belong to the Ibadi sect of Islam, one of the religion's oldest and most traditional branches. Ibadi principles of puritanism and idealism have greatly influenced Arabs in surrounding countries. Family ties and religious traditions are strong. The Oman Arab standard is to accept others on their terms. For example, they view anything less than excessive generosity as rudeness. Sunnis are welcomed by the Ibadis with Sunni greetings. Even Christians are tolerated by Omani Arabs in Kenya as long as they are not Muslim converts.

Prayer Points

Pray for a spiritual discernment and hunger that will allow Omani Arabs in Tanzania to seek and find Christ. Pray for Holy Spirit-directed believers to go to the Omani Arabs. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement to spread far and wide among Omani Arabs.

Text Source:   Joshua Project