National Geographic : 1956 Jul
+ Guard of Honor Escorts a Visiting Potentate Across Dibai Inlet Petty wars and blood feuds have frequently roiled relations among the Trucial Oman states. Desert warriors often hire out as soldiers of fortune; rulers compete for their support with gifts and hospitality. Succession by force is com mon. Of the past 15 rulers in one sheikdom, 8 were assassi nated and 4 violently deposed. Until recently the sheiks did not dare travel from one state to another without the protec tion of huge retinues. Here the bearded Sheik of Ajman crosses Dibai inlet on his way to visit the author. As peace prevails, his armed stal warts serve merely as an honor guard. Square ventilating towers in the background rise above the houses of Dibai. Open on all four sides, these primitive air conditioners capture welcome breezes and direct them into windowless rooms below. Beached boats await scraping and a protective coating of shark oil mixed with lime.