Sunday, September 24, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 8, 1445 H
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My Village, Miskan, in Mourning


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:

I remember that due to the force of the bullets, some pieces of our equipment had holes in them. The commander insisted that all of them should be carried down despite the fact they were too heavy. The regiment arrived the third day late in the evening. The late arrival was planned, so that our movements wouldn’t come to the notice of the enemy. I remember amongst those who carried me were Srg. Mohammed al Hosni, Lance Corp. Yusof bin Khalfan al Busaidy (later brigadier general) and lance corp. Hamad bin Mane al Mamari (later brigadier general).

While on our way, I was asked to surrender my weapon. I strongly refused saying that if we were attacked I would be left alone, unable to move. Clutching my gun, I added that there wouldn’t be any one to help me save Allah and my gun. This was in accordance with the military code I learnt during training; we were taught not to surrender our guns even if we were about to die.

We descended the mountain as the sun rose and arrived at its foot, where we found army vehicles waiting for us. It was then that I submitted my gun and ammunition, and wholeheartedly thanked all those who had helped me come through such a difficult time.

I and Saif al Kalbani, who had a hand injury, were the most severely injured. In the evening, the Beaver aircraft took us to Mosera Island, and thence to Thomas Hospital in Mutrah, where I was taken to the operating theatre.

Miskan was in mourning over the dead and the wounded*. Despite all that, the desire to join the army and participate in the Dhofar war didn’t waver. On the contrary, it grew all the stronger. In the immediate aftermath of this incident, there were around forty people from Miskan and its outskirts who wanted to join. Bearing in mind that Miskan was just a small village, this number was remarkably large.

This was mainly due to their readiness and fitness as well as to the mountainous nature of their upbringing. Their readiness was such that one of my cousins, Srg. Hamad al Kalbani, would train them in his village, Sharjat alkes, every time he was on his annual leave.

* Amongst the martyrs were Mosabah bin Hamed bin Soliyam al Kalbani, Mohammed bin Saif bin Rashid al Kalbani, Said bin Naseeb bin Said al Kalbani, Mohammed bin Rahshid bin Hamad al Kalbani, may Allah have mercy on them. As for the wounded they were Corp. Said bin Rahshid bin Mohammed al Kalbani, Lieut. Col. Ali bin Rahshid bin Mohammed al Kalbani, Corp. Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed al Kalbani, Marhoon bin Soleman bin Khalaf al Kalbani, Saif bin Hamad bin Abdullah al Kalbani, Ali bin Salim bin Said al Kalbani, Mobarak bin Slam bin Mohammed al Kalbani and Saif bin Salim bin Abdullah al Kalbani (the author).

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