The following is my English translation of excerpts from “A Soldier from Oman: Memory’s Nectar” by (ret.) Inspector-General Said bin Rashid Al Kalbani
Catching up with the Khareef , we returned to Resut Port, where we patrolled the exits of valleys day and night. Before receiving an order to go back to Al Jabal Al Akhdhar, we had to pay a visit to the Hosn Palace to salute Sultan Said bin Taymur. We marched into the yard before the palace, where the sultan inspected the company. I was in the second row, on my left stood Corp. Homud al Manzari, on my right Private Amir al Mamri. After the parade, the Sultan presented our regiment with a sliver coffee mug as a trophy.
We returned to the Resut Camp, where we received a vehicle carrying banana, halwa, and papaya as gifts for us. We then started our return journey to Al Jabal Al Akhdhar. Our plane took us to the runway in Farq, from where we returned to the Al Jabal Al Akhdhar Camp through Wadi Ma’edin.
Our regiment stayed in Al Jabal Al Akhdhar for a considerable period of time, and I joined a course for lance corporals and came out as the first in the platoon. I remember we had a night exercise in Izki, in “Tawai al Nasf”. We had to face a dummy enemy. Though we executed the exercise, we were ambushed at night, due to lack of caution.
After returning to the Company, I was promoted to lance corporal.
The Guards of
and the Fort
After a period of time, our company moved from Al Jabal Al Akhdhar to the town of Belaad Set, Nizwa, where there was a tower named the “A’Santari Tower”, meaning the “guard tower”. Our mission was to prevent smuggling of weapons to Jabal Shams and its neighbouring areas and to coordinate with the elders of the region. Salim al Kalbani and I once visited Sheikh Al Waleed bin Zahir al Hinai (who later took the responsibility of the ministry of education, and subsequently of religious affairs and then his Majesty’s adviser till he died in the 1990s.) He was the shaikh of Belaad Set. When we met him, he greeted us with traditional Arabic hospitality, and, as customary, asked us, “To which Arabs do you belong? ” We replied, “From the Bani Kalban”. He immediately said, “You must be either from Miskan or Hayyal”. With his characteristic wit, he knew us from our accent, as Salim was from Hayyal and I from Miskan.
When we moved from Belaad Set to the Nizwa Fort, Sayyid Hilal bin Hamad al Sammar was the wali of Nizwa. (He subsequently occupied different ministerial positions, and became the minister of justice). According to the system in place in the fort, all the seven doors of the fort should be closed after the soldiers entered, no soldier would be allowed to go out for two weeks. We were tasked to prevent any aggressor from getting in, and the prisoners from getting out and to attend the barza, when and if required.
Interestingly, there was an old woman by the name of Khadija al Anqudi. She would fasten and unfasten the heavy iron chains on the legs of the prisoners. It happened once that she made a mistake and broke the leg of one of the prisoners, who was subsequently taken to the Nizwa Camp hospital.