Friday, September 08, 2006

Travels in Oman - Niswah's Pottery


During the weekend 1-2 September 06 we travelled with a group to Niswah and Jebel Shams (Mountain Shams) in Oman. We had a delightful weekend and the Omanis are such friendly people. They approach you in the street and welcome you to Oman or shake your hand and say 'hello'.

If they can't speak English, they either give you a friendly smile, a wave or say something in Arabic, usually 'salam alaykom' (peace be with you) or 'al humdelallah' (praise be to Allah). Both are common greetings, especially the latter which, under varying circumstances might mean, 'Praise be to Allah because I've met you, or you opened the door etc.' Of course, whatever happens is an effect of which Allah is always the cause.

Many of the young kids speak English very well and are delighted to show you how competent they are by asking you questions about yourself and where you come from.

It's lovely to interact with them and to feel so genuinely welcome. I took the photo in the Craft Souk (market) at Niswah where we stayed overnight on our first night. We have dozens more photos of the towns, mud-brick ruins, our colleagues, houses built into rock and so on to add to our growing collection.

Every best wish


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