Glossary -- Oman (Persian Gulf States)
- Uppercased, it connotes family of, or belonging to, as in Al
Sabah, Al Khalifa, Al Thani, Al Nuhayyan, Al Maktum, Al Qasimi, and
Al Said. Lowercased, it represents the definite article
the, as in Ras al Khaymah.
- Literally, commander. In many of the Arab states of the gulf,
amir often means ruler or prince.
- Political entity under the rule of an amir. Analogous to a
shaykhdom and, if an independent state, to a kingdom.
- Bahraini dinar (BD)
- Consists of 1,000 fils. Bahrain has maintained a fixed exchange
rate according to which in 1993 US$1 equaled BD0.376.
- barrels per day (bpd)
- Production of crude oil and petroleum products is frequently
measured in barrels per day. A barrel is a volume measure of forty-
two United States gallons. Conversion of barrels to tons depends on
the density of the specific product. About 7.3 barrels of average
crude oil weigh one ton. Heavy crude is about seven barrels per
ton. Light products, such as gasoline and kerosene, average close
to eight barrels per ton.
- The oil industry views the production, processing,
transportation, and sale of petroleum products as a flow process
starting at the wellhead. Downstream includes any stage between the
point of reference and the sale of products to the consumer.
Upstream (q.v.) is the converse.
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- A value measure of the flow of domestic goods and services
produced by an economy over a period of time, such as one year.
Only output values of goods for final consumption and investment
are included because the values of primary and intermediate
production are assumed to be included in final prices. GDP is
sometimes aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning that
indirect taxes and subsidies are included; when these have been
eliminated, the result is GDP at factor cost. The word
gross indicates that deductions for depreciation of
physical assets have not been made. See also gross
national product (GNP).
- gross national product (GNP)
- The gross domestic product (g.v.) plus the net income
or loss stemming from transactions with foreign countries. GNP is
the broadest measurement of the output of goods and services by an
economy. It can be calculated at market prices, which include
indirect taxes and subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies
are only transfer payments, GNP is often calculated at factor cost
by removing indirect taxes and subsidies.
- Tradition based on the precedent of Muhammad's words and deeds
that serves as one of the sources of Islamic law (sharia).
- Literally, to migrate, to sever relations, to leave one's
tribe. Throughout the Muslim world, hijra refers to the migration
of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers to Medina. In this sense,
the word has come into European languages as hegira. The year of
Muhammad's hijra constitutes the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
- Literally, son of; bint means daughter of; and
bani is literally sons of, hence clan or tribe.
- Word used in several senses. In general use, it means the
leader of congregational prayers; as such it implies no ordination
or special spiritual powers beyond sufficient education to carry
out this function. It is also used figuratively by many Sunni
(q.v.) Muslims to mean the leader of the Islamic
community. Among Shia (q.v.) the word takes on many
complex meanings; in general, however, and particularly when
uppercased, it indicates that particular descendant of the House of
Ali who is believed to be God's designated repository of the
spiritual authority inherent in that line. The identity of this
individual and the means of ascertaining his identity have been
major issues causing divisions among Shia. Among the Ibadis of
Oman, the imam was elected to office and was regarded by all as the
spiritual leader of the community and by some as the temporal ruler
as well. Claims of various Omani imams to secular power led to open
rebellions as late as the 1950s.
- import-substitution industrialization
- An economic development strategy that emphasizes the growth of
domestic industries, often by import protection using tariff and
nontariff measures. Proponents favor the export of industrial goods
over primary products.
- International Monetary Fund
- Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945,
the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations
and is responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and
payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to
its members (including industrialized and developing countries)
when they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans
frequently carry conditions that require substantial internal
economic adjustments by the recipients, most of which are
- The struggle to establish the law of God on earth, often
interpreted to mean holy war.
- Kuwaiti dinar (KD)
- The national currency, consisting of 1,000 fils. The exchange
rate of the Kuwaiti dinar to the United States dollar has
fluctuated somewhat; in March 1992 the exchange rate was US$1 =
- Tribal council; in some countries the legislative assembly.
Also refers to an audience with an amir (q.v.) or shaykh
(q.v.) open to all citizens.
- Omani rial (RO)
- Monetary unit of Oman, divided into 1,000 baizas. Oman has
maintained a fixed exchange rate according to which in 1993 US$1
- Qatari riyal (QR)
- The national currency consisting of 100 dirhams. Qatar has
maintained a fixed exchanged rate according to which in 1993 US$1
- Leader or chief. Applied either to a political leader of a
tribe or town or a learned religious leader. Also used as an
- Shia (from Shiat Ali, or Party of Ali)
- A member of the smaller of the two great divisions of Islam.
The Shia supported the claims of Ali and his line to presumptive
right to the caliphate and leadership of the world Muslim
community, and on this issue they divided from the Sunnis
(q.v.) in the major schism within Islam. Later schisms
have produced further divisions among the Shia over the identity
and number of imans (q.v.). Most Shia revere twelve Imams,
the last of whom is believed to be in hiding. See also
Twelve Imam Shia.
- special drawing rights (SDR)
- An International Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.) unit of
account made up of a basket of major international currencies
consisting of the United States dollar, the German deutschmark, the
Japanese yen, the British pound sterling, and the French franc.
- The larger of the two great divisions of Islam. The Sunnis, who
rejected the claims of Ali's line, believe that they are the true
followers of the sunna, the guide to proper behavior
composed of the Quran and the hadith (q.v.).
- Twelve Imam Shia
- The majority group among Shia (q.v.), who believe that
the Imamate began with Ali, the fourth caliph, or successor ruler,
in Islam. The line continued through his sons until the Twelfth
Imam, who is believed to have ascended to a supernatural state to
return to earth on Judgment Day.
- UAE dirham (Dh)
- National currency of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), consisting
of 100 fils. The UAE has maintained a fixed exchange rate according
to which in 1993 US$1 equaled Dh3.671.
- Collective term for Muslim religious scholars.
- The converse of downstream (q.v.), it includes the
exploration and drilling of wells in the petroleum production
- Name used outside Saudi Arabia to designate adherents to
- Name used outside Saudi Arabia to designate official
interpretation of Islam in Saudi Arabia. The faith is a puritanical
concept of unitarianism (the oneness of God) that was preached by
Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab, whence his Muslim opponents derived the
name. The royal family of Qatar and most indigenous Qataris are
- World Bank
- Informal name used to designate a group of four affiliated
international institutions that provide advice and assistance on
long-term finance and policy issues to developing countries: the
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the
International Development Association (IDA), the International
Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment
Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The IBRD, established in 1945, has as its
primary purpose the provision of loans at market-related rates of
interest to developing countries at more advanced stages of
development. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered
by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to
the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of
conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the
activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance specifically
designed to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises
in the less developed countries. The president and certain officers
of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The MIGA, which
began operating in 1988, insures private foreign investment in
developing countries against various noncommercial risks. The four
institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that
subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group,
member states must first belong to the International Monetary Fund