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Monday, January 31, 2011

Zafaraniya, Old world charm personified

Last weekend, close to sunset, we found ourselves in 'Zafraniya', or as is sometimes better known, Hillat Al Zadjali. It is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Muscat and certainly one of the prettiest.
A lovely old home
Unexpected delights
Walking through, we came upon an old graveyard, with some children playing nearby, sometimes even running across the unmarked graves. It all seemed so natural, the football, the cycling and the running around. Yet one thought did cross my mind, whose graves were they sometimes stepping on?

Moving on, we came across one of the prettiest houses that I've seen, and here are a couple of pics to show you some of it. It was just like  a picture book house, yet there was a clear difference. It was all so 'lived in' with some hens clucking and eating their grain in the courtyard, kids swinging on their 'jhoolas' and ladies having their tea.

But the 'adventure of Arabia', as I like to term it. wasn't yet over. Moving on, we reached an old Shiva temple where worshippers were just going in for their evening prayer.

Just as I stepped in the temple bells began to toll, and simultaneously, I could hear the sound of the 'Muezzin' calling the faithful for their evening prayer.

Talk of harmony, it was really and truly in that air...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Royal Equestrian and camel festival, 1/1/11

There are events and then there are some more events!
What we saw on the first day of New Year was truly the stuff that great memories are made of.  

The Royal Equestrian and camel festival, (1/1/11) held at the Wattayah stadium, showcased the best possible combinations of sound, light, music, spectacular animals and people.It was a three hour feast for the eyes and the ears and one that just kept on getting better and better.

While  we enjoyed every moment of that event thoroughly, what will forever stand out in our memory was when  His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said came into the arena. The tumultous roar that came from the crowd was  that indicator that told us more than any words or text possibly could that here was a ruler who was loved and admired by his people...those very same people who he has selflessly devoted his entire life to.

As we celebrate the 40th National day,here's wishing  'Mabrook' to all the people in the  Sultanate of Oman and many, many milestones to be reached ahead.....