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Old 19th June 2016, 06:25 AM   #31
Kubur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
For myself, I choose the construction of the handle as the defining point. Blades were imported, decorations borrowed or just made by itinerant artisans, but the national character of the sword was embedded in its handle.
It was a hallmark of tribal beliefs and tastes, it reflected the traditional way of wielding it, it largely defined its techniques.

IMHO.


Yes i totally agree for the handle and also the scabbard, but i think decorations are essential... Blades are traded or reused... I agree forget about them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
That is why shashka is Caucasian, Kastane is Sri Lankan, Pulwar is Afghani, Lankan, Pulwar is Afghani, Yataghan is Ottoman ( with even more ethnic variations), Choora is from the Khyber Pass and Kattara is Omani.
IMHO.

So true
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Old 19th June 2016, 12:22 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I agree, Eric is clearly one of the most remarkable archivists, and seems to consistently come up with irrefutable illustrative examples to bring discussions to terms.
Thanks Jim but I am constantly in awe of the huge amount of information people here bring to discussions (including you) on such a wide range of topics. I am always learning something new.
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Old 19th June 2016, 02:05 PM   #33
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I think this short and quick exchange was a wonderful example of a co-operation leading to the solution of an admittedly small but interesting riddle.

Eric's contribution of an obscure photograph was a crucial argument and we all owe him an applause and a debt of gratitude.

From now on we all know the origin of these peculiar handles. We have learned something new and this is the whole purpose of the existence of this Forum.

Kudos to all!

Last edited by ariel : 19th June 2016 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 19th June 2016, 05:23 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
So, how should we call these swords?
They are a bewildering hodge-podge of parts and styles: Persian blades, Indian handles, Arabian decor...

Indo-Arabian? Arab -Mughal?

For myself, I choose the construction of the handle as the defining point. Blades were imported, decorations borrowed or just made by itinerant artisans, but the national character of the sword was embedded in its handle. It was a hallmark of tribal beliefs and tastes, it reflected the traditional way of wielding it, it largely defined its techniques.
That is why shashka is Caucasian, Kastane is Sri Lankan, Pulwar is Afghani, Yataghan is Ottoman ( with even more ethnic variations), Choora is from the Khyber Pass and Kattara is Omani.


I would easily call it Baloch or Sindhian, or Hyderabadi.

Others can choose their favorite definitions, but calling it just "Arabian" would be a big mistake IMHO.



Well put, the hilts are profoundly reflections of the cultures and regional affectations where the spectrum and varieties of blades are mounted.
The term 'Arabic' is far too collectively used to be effective in trying to properly classify a sword in response to its overall features. Even swords that are known to be from Arabia itself were carried far and wide in the vast geography included in their trade.

It is localized nuances that typically give us the denominators necessary in more precisely classifying a weapon, and these of course are most often in the hilt.

I would say Baloch, Sind or Hyderabadi would be quite logically placed here.

I had overlooked that ring emplaced in the pommel on the hilt of this sword, and do agree this seems to be an affectation from India's northern regions. If I recall correctly many, if not most, Afghan oriented edged weapons typically have a ring attached to the pommels.
I have always thought of these as a lanyard attachment but may be used as a festoon link likely as well.
The rings on the Omani khanjhar scabbards are purely decorative links in the belting configuration on the scabbards, in which the number of these rings seems to be significant either regionally or otherwise.

Eric, thank you for the kind return note, and as for learning here....emphatically I say.......me too!!!!

As Ariel has said, that's what this forum is all about
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Old 21st June 2016, 08:47 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Well put, the hilts are profoundly reflections of the cultures and regional affectations where the spectrum and varieties of blades are mounted.
The term 'Arabic' is far too collectively used to be effective in trying to properly classify a sword in response to its overall features. Even swords that are known to be from Arabia itself were carried far and wide in the vast geography included in their trade.

It is localized nuances that typically give us the denominators necessary in more precisely classifying a weapon, and these of course are most often in the hilt.

I would say Baloch, Sind or Hyderabadi would be quite logically placed here.

I had overlooked that ring emplaced in the pommel on the hilt of this sword, and do agree this seems to be an affectation from India's northern regions. If I recall correctly many, if not most, Afghan oriented edged weapons typically have a ring attached to the pommels.
I have always thought of these as a lanyard attachment but may be used as a festoon link likely as well.
The rings on the Omani khanjhar scabbards are purely decorative links in the belting configuration on the scabbards, in which the number of these rings seems to be significant either regionally or otherwise.

Eric, thank you for the kind return note, and as for learning here....emphatically I say.......me too!!!!

As Ariel has said, that's what this forum is all about



Dear Jim, As usual excellent support, and a great subject. Actually none of the Omani Shamshir swords in the Omani Museums have this odd ring in the Pommel. Nor do they appear in the Richardson and Dorr. I conclude that Omani Shamshir don't have them They look like they would snag the long outfit worn by dignitaries...and whereas in the Sindh they look like fighting weapons ...worn by a VIP here they function as a badge of office.

I am not entirely convinced that these weapons were brought or offered to Omani dignitaries since so far as I can see the bulk of Mercenaries came from the Western part of Baluchistan...however, I think the great sea traders largely emanating from Hyderabad(Sindh) may be the people responsible ... The Khojas. I am however trying to find out... It is certainly plausible that it could have been transmitted by both ... and hats off to Ariel and everyone here...that this is the weapon which people often term Arabian Shamshir... or in the case of Oman ... The Omani Shamshir. (also identical is the VIP sword in the Comoros)

For any newcomers interested in Hyderabad please note that there are two. One in India in the South and another in Pakistan on the eastern edge of what we call Baluchistan in the area known as Sindh and the latter being the one we are currently interested in.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 21st June 2016 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 17th July 2016, 01:24 AM   #36
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Hi guys! A couple of notes on people of ethnic Sindhi origin in Las Bela and also in Oman!!!

Many of the business community in Oman are of Sindhi origin. There is a language spoken in Oman called Luwati which is an offshoot of the Sindhi language. Today though many of the Luwatis have assimilated amongst the Arabs.

https://www.ethnologue.com/language/luv

Many Arab business people from Oman and surrounding areas funnily enough have surnames typical of Sindhi Hindu business communities: Mohammed Al Barwani, Hussain Sajwani, Al Vaswani and so on.

More information of Luwatis:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Lawatia

Wikipedia also notes that many descendants of Sindhi sailors in Oman speak Baluchi as a language.

Regarding Las Bela - not only is Baluchi spoken in the region, but also the Lasi dialect of Sindhi, most likely spoken by the Jams, who descended from earlier Sindhi speaking Rajput or Jat tribes in the region:

https://www.ethnologue.com/language/lss

Furthermore, all the surnames used by the Baluchi Jamot are also subclans of the Soomra and Samma Rajputs of Sindh, who were the historical rulers of Sindh during the period after the Arab conquests. Jamot itself is listed as one of the Samma clans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamot
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samma_(tribe)

Note that "Jam" itself is a Sindhi word for local chieftains, many folk figures of Sindh have this title such as "Jam Tamachi" and so on, and you find places named after Jam all throughout the Sindhi realm - Even in Gujarat proper, you have places named such as Jamnagar due to the historical settlement of Sindhi speaking tribes.

Furthermore, the Jadgali language spoken in Makran coast as far as Iran is also an offshoot of Sindhi:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jadgali_language
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/jdg

In short - Lots of migrations, assimilations and very complex intertwined ethnic backgrounds in the Baluchistan-Sindh-Kutch-Gujarat-Oman area.
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Old 17th July 2016, 10:06 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roshan
Hi guys! A couple of notes on people of ethnic Sindhi origin in Las Bela and also in Oman!!!

Many of the business community in Oman are of Sindhi origin. There is a language spoken in Oman called Luwati which is an offshoot of the Sindhi language. Today though many of the Luwatis have assimilated amongst the Arabs.

https://www.ethnologue.com/language/luv

Many Arab business people from Oman and surrounding areas funnily enough have surnames typical of Sindhi Hindu business communities: Mohammed Al Barwani, Hussain Sajwani, Al Vaswani and so on.

More information of Luwatis:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Lawatia

Wikipedia also notes that many descendants of Sindhi sailors in Oman speak Baluchi as a language.

Regarding Las Bela - not only is Baluchi spoken in the region, but also the Lasi dialect of Sindhi, most likely spoken by the Jams, who descended from earlier Sindhi speaking Rajput or Jat tribes in the region:

https://www.ethnologue.com/language/lss

Furthermore, all the surnames used by the Baluchi Jamot are also subclans of the Soomra and Samma Rajputs of Sindh, who were the historical rulers of Sindh during the period after the Arab conquests. Jamot itself is listed as one of the Samma clans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamot
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samma_(tribe)

Note that "Jam" itself is a Sindhi word for local chieftains, many folk figures of Sindh have this title such as "Jam Tamachi" and so on, and you find places named after Jam all throughout the Sindhi realm - Even in Gujarat proper, you have places named such as Jamnagar due to the historical settlement of Sindhi speaking tribes.

Furthermore, the Jadgali language spoken in Makran coast as far as Iran is also an offshoot of Sindhi:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jadgali_language
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/jdg

In short - Lots of migrations, assimilations and very complex intertwined ethnic backgrounds in the Baluchistan-Sindh-Kutch-Gujarat-Oman area.


Your reply is interesting and I appreciate your final point about the assimilation in The Indian Ocean. My view in trying to link who did what focuses upon the main sea traders at the time..which were Khojas and with Zanzibar and Muscat (and Sur) a main trade group of hubs or trade centres...it is likely that the Khojas were the main traders dealing with such items. I appreciate, however, that it could have been others..I have not yet been able to pinpoint a Royal Workshop in Oman making swords for the Ruler or VIPs as it would probably be through such a conduit that high class weapons like these would move.
Please see http://www.everyculture.com/South-Asia/Khoja.html
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Old 19th October 2016, 04:50 PM   #38
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Default Wrist Straps.

It may be noticed at post #18 of this thread that all the swords have wrist straps attached to the rings in the pommels of the hilts. This is clearly the reason for these rings which are relatively small; more akin in size to nose rings or ear rings. However, it is their purpose which prompts me to pen this post.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Old 23rd October 2016, 09:29 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
The remarkable weapon at #1 reveals I believe the sword hilt adopted on Omani Shamshiir swords. Ariel is quite correct that Baluchi peoples have been in the Oman Zanj regions for a long time.. Saiid the Great employed Baluchi mercenaries to remove the Portuguese from Fort Jesus in the early 1800s... They have been in these regions ever since and in Oman largely on the Baatina Coast . The Omani habit of recruiting Baluch soldiers into its Armed Forces is a tradition going bck to the time Oman owned Gwadur and that part of what is now Baluchistan (under the Pakistani Flag) which was sold back to Pakistan in about 1950. Oman still recruits there.
The Omani Shamshiir probably made in Hyderabad has a hilt similar to the project weapon thus I believe that is the link to this extraordinary sword ...particularly the silver wired knot. Shown below; The Omani Shamshiir
See http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...omani+shamshiir

Saalam Ibrahiim,just wanted to point out which you also are aware when Pakistan separated to be a independent Country from India,Baluchistan was a Separate province during the British India Empire ,but the Pakistan Army Illegally Occupied Baluchistan in 1948 ,The Baluchis are Fighting for Independence till Date,so lots of weapons in Baluchistan has Influence from the Indian Subcontinent as well as Arabia,Regards
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Old 23rd October 2016, 09:45 AM   #40
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Default BALOCHISTANS FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE,A BRIEF HISTORY

Area of dispute

Historical Balochistan covers the southern part off Sistan o Baluchestan Province, Iran, in the west, the Pakistani province of Balochistan in the east, and, in the northwest, Afghanistan's Helmand Province. The Gulf of Oman forms its southern border. Mountains and desert make up much of the region's terrain. Most Balochis live in part that falls within Pakistan's borders.

Geographically, Balochistan Province is the largest region of Pakistan, comprising 44% of the country's total area), but it is the least inhabited, with only 5% of total population, and the least developed.[43] Sunni Islam is the predominant religion.[44]

Stuart Notholt, in his Atlas of Ethnic Conflict, describes the unrest in Balochistan as a "nationalist/self-determination conflict".[45]

History

Background

The Baloch naitonalist struggle is centred on the Khanate of Kalat, established in 1666 by Mir Ahmad. Under Mir Naseer Khan I in 1758, who accepted the Afghan paramountcy, the boundaries of Kalat stretched up to Dera Ghazi Khan in the east and Bandar Abbas in the west. However, in November 1839, the British invaded Kalat and killed the Khan and his followers. Afterwards, the British influence in the region gradually grew. In 1869, the British Political Agent Robert Sandeman ended up mediating a dispute between the Khan of Kalat and the Sardars of Balochistan, and established the British primacy in the region. The tribal areas of Marri, Bugti, Khetran and Chaghi were brought under the direct administration of a British Agent, eventually to become the Chief Commissioner's Province of Balochistan. Lasbela and Kharan were declared Special Areas with a different political system. The remaining areas of Sarawan, Jhalawan, Kacchi and Makran were retained as the Khanate of Kalat, supervised by a Political Agent of Kalat.[46]

In the 20th century, the educated Baloch middle class harboured hopes of an independent Balochistan free of the British. They formed a nationalist movement Anjuman-e-Ittehad-e-Balochistan in 1931. One of their first campaigns was to fight for the accession of Azam Jan as the Khan of Kalat and a constitutional government to be established under him. They were successful in establishing Azam Jan as the Khan but the new Khan sided with the Sardars and turned his back on the Anjuman. His successor Mir Ahmad Yar Khan was more sympathetic to Anjuman but he was averse to upsetting his relations with the British. The Anujman, transformed into the Kalat State National Party (KSNP), continued to fight for independence from the British. It was declared illegal by the Khanate in 1939 and its active leaders and activists were exiled. This paved the way for the formation of new political parties, Balochistan Muslim League allied to the Muslim League in June 1939 and Anjuman-i-Watan allied to the Indian National Congress in the same year.[47]

Mir Ahmad Yar Khan provided generous funding to the Muslim League, both at the local and All-India levels, and acquired the services of Muhammad Ali Jinnah as the Legal Adviser to the Kalat state. With Jinnah's advocacy, it was agreed on 4 August 1947 that the 'Kalat State will be independent on 5 August 1947, enjoying the same status as it originally held in 1838, having friendly relations with its neighbours'. On the same day, an agreement was also signed with Dominion of Pakistan. According to the Article I, 'The Government of Pakistan agrees that Kalat is an independent State, being quite different in status from other States of India'. However, the Article IV stated:


a standstill agreement will be made between Pakistan and Kalat by which Pakistan shall stand committed to all the responsibilities agreements signed by Kalat and the British Government from 1839 to 1947 and by this, Pakistan shall be the legal, constitutional and political successor of the British.[48]

Through this agreement, the British Paramountcy was effectively transferred to Pakistan. The Khan of Kalat achieved a pyrrhic victory by becoming 'independent' on 15 August 1947.[49]

First conflict

Balochistan was divided between four princely states under the British Raj. Three of these, Makran, Las Bela and Kharan joined with Pakistan in 1947 after independence.[50] The Khan of Kalat, Ahmad Yar Khan, declared Kalat's independence as this was one of the options given to all of the 535 princely states by British Prime Minister Clement Attlee.[51]

Muhammad Ali Jinnah pressured Yar Khan to accept Pakistani rule but the Khan stalled for time. Out of patience, on 27 March 1948, Pakistan formally annexed Kalat.[52] In April, the military invaded, conquering the territory in a month.[53] Yar Khan signed a treaty of accession, submitting to the federal government. His younger brothers, Princes Agha Abdul Karim Baloch and Muhammad Rahim, refused to lay down arms, leading the Dosht-e Jhalawan in unconventional attacks on the army until 1950.[54] Jinnah and his successors allowed Yar Khan to retain his title until the province's dissolution in 1955.

Second conflict

Nawab Nauroz Khan took up arms in resistance to the One Unit policy, which decreased government representation for tribal leaders, from 1958 to 1959. He and his followers started a guerrilla war against Pakistan, and were arrested, charged with treason, and imprisoned in Hyderabad. Five of his family members, sons and nephews, were subsequently hanged on charges of treason and aiding in the murder of Pakistani troops. Nawab Nauroz Khan later died in captivity.[55]

Third conflict

After the second conflict, a Baloch separatist movement gained momentum in the 1960s, following the introduction of a new constitution in 1956 which limited provincial autonomy and enacted the 'One Unit' concept of political organisation in Pakistan. Tension continued to grow amid consistent political disorder and instability at the federal level. The federal government tasked the Pakistan Army with building several new bases in key areas of Balochistan. Sher Muhammad Bijrani Marri led like-minded militants into guerrilla warfare from 1963 to 1969 by creating their own insurgent bases, spread out over 45,000 miles (72,000 km) of land, from the Mengal tribal area in the south to the Marri and Bugti tribal areas in the north. Their goal was to force Pakistan to share revenue generated from the Sui gas fields with the tribal leaders. The insurgents bombed railway tracks and ambushed convoys. The Army retaliated by destroying vast areas of the Marri tribe's land. This insurgency ended in 1969, with the Baloch separatists agreeing to a ceasefire. In 1970 Pakistani President Yahya Khan abolished the "One Unit" policy,[56] which led to the recognition of Balochistan as the fourth province of West Pakistan (present-day Pakistan), including all the Balochistani princely states, the High Commissioners Province, and Gwadar, an 800 km2 coastal area purchased from Oman by the Pakistani government.

Fourth conflict 1973–77

For more details on this topic, see Baloch Insurgency and Rahimuddin's Stabilization.

The unrest continued into the 1970s, culminating in a government-ordered military operation in the region in 1973.

In 1973, citing treason, President Bhutto dismissed the provincial governments of Balochistan and NWFP and imposed martial law in those areas,[57] which led to armed insurgency. Khair Bakhsh Marri formed the Balochistan People's Liberation Front (BPLF), which led large numbers of Marri and Mengal tribesmen into guerrilla warfare against the central government.[58] According to some authors, the Pakistani military lost 300 to 400 soldiers during the conflict with the Balochi separatists, while between 7,300 and 9,000 Balochi militants and civilians were killed.[17]

Assisted by Iran, Pakistani forces inflicted heavy casualties on the separatists. The insurgency fell into decline after a return to the four-province structure and the abolishment of the Sardari system.

Fifth conflict 2004–to date

See also: Sistan and Baluchestan insurgency

In 2004 an insurgent attack on Gwadar port resulting in the deaths of three Chinese engineers and four wounded drew China into the conflict.[20] In 2005, the Baluch political leaders Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and Mir Balach Marri presented a 15-point agenda to the Pakistan government. Their stated demands included greater control of the province's resources and a moratorium on the construction of military bases.[59] On 15 December 2005 the inspector general of the Frontier Corps, Major General Shujaat Zamir Dar, and his deputy Brigadier Salim Nawaz (the current IGFC) were wounded after shots were fired at their helicopter in Balochistan Province. The provincial interior secretary later said that, after visiting Kohlu, "both of them were wounded in the leg but both are in stable condition."[60]

In August 2006, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, 79 years old, was killed in fighting with the Pakistan Army, in which at least 60 Pakistani soldiers and 7 officers were also killed. Pakistan's government had charged him with responsibility of a series of deadly bomb blasts and a rocket attack on President Pervez Musharraf.[61]

In April 2009, Baloch National Movement president Ghulam Mohammed Baloch and two other nationalist leaders (Lala Munir and Sher Muhammad) were seized from a small legal office and were allegedly "handcuffed, blindfolded and hustled into a waiting pickup truck which is in still [sic] use of intelligence forces in front of their lawyer and neighboring shopkeepers." The gunmen were allegedly speaking in Persian (a national language of neighbouring Afghanistan and Iran). Five days later, on 8 April, their bullet-riddled bodies were found in a commercial area. The BLA claimed Pakistani forces were behind the killings, though international experts have deemed it odd that the Pakistani forces would be careless enough to allow the bodies to be found so easily and "light Balochistan on fire" (Herald) if they were truly responsible.[62] The discovery of the bodies sparked rioting and weeks of strikes, demonstrations, and civil resistance in cities and towns around Balochistan.[63] See Turbat killings

On 12 August 2009, Khan of Kalat Mir Suleiman Dawood declared himself ruler of Balochistan and formally announced a Council for Independent Balochistan. The council's claimed domain includes Sistan and Baluchestan Province, as well as Pakistani Balochistan, but does not include Afghan Baloch regions. The council claimed the allegiance of "all separatist leaders including Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti." Suleiman Dawood stated that the UK had a "moral responsibility to raise the issue of Balochistan's illegal occupation at international level."[64]

The Economist writes:


"[The Baloch separatists] are supported—with money, influence or sympathy—by some members of the powerful Bugti tribe and by parts of the Baloch middle class. This makes today's insurgency stronger than previous ones, but the separatists will nevertheless struggle to prevail over Pakistan's huge army."[36]

— The Economist, April 2012

US-based exiled Baloch journalist and newspaper editor Malik Siraj Akbar writes that the ongoing Baloch resistance has created "serious challenges" for the Pakistan government, "unlike the past resistance movements", because it has lasted longer than previous insurgencies, has greater breadth—including the entire province "from rural mountainous regions to the city centers", involves Baloch women and children at "regular protest rallies", and has drawn more international attention—including a 2012 hearing by the US Congress. Islamabad has accused its neighbour India of supporting the insurgency in Balochistan.[27] However infighting between insurgent groups as of late 2014 has weakened the movement.[27]
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Old 24th October 2016, 07:04 PM   #41
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Salaams Bandook, Thank you for the excellent reminder of the historical situation outlined. It is important, although, it is steeped in modern history and politics thus I cannot otherwise comment. Someone said that after the world was completed the bits that were left over were sewn together as "Baluchistan"... That has changed little...Regards, Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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