Craft skills on display

Kabeer Yousuf –
MUSCAT, FEB. 2 –
What can an empty cardboard box or an eggshell or a log be converted into?
For hundreds of Omani craftsmen, creative designers and for numismatists, the Muscat Festival venue is an ideal platform to showcase their skills, thoughts and creative designs.
At the festival grounds, they do not just display their products but create marvellous pieces out of things that we considered waste or not of any use.
They make replicas of dhow, big ships, transistor radios, old doors, handwoven dishdasha, jallabiya and what not? A visit to the festival pavilion indeed helps the spectators go down the memory lane.
“I began making handicrafts since my childhood days. With the support of the Public Authority for Craft Industry, I’m able to make all these articles over a period of time. I thank Muscat Municipality for giving me an opportunity to display all these here”, Hussain Darwish from Wadi Bani Khalid, who was recently awarded the best craftsman in Oman told the Observer.
He has in his collection everything that can be made out of palm leaves, wooden pieces, unwanted papers and other stuff that we dump regularly.
For Nabeel al Balushi, a trader in handicrafts and outdated transistor radios, the festival venue is proving to be a blessing for he is able to tell the world of his collections.
“I usually sell these transistors and handicraft products at the Friday Market in Wadi Kabir but Muscat Festival has proved to be in favour of me for not just business but it’s an opportunity to show my rare collections to the world”, said Nabeel.
Omani craftsmen are known to have some of the best artistic pieces in wood and metal and the demand for their products have an international market thanks to the PACI for their efforts in globalising local handicrafts, according to Hussain.
“I have attended many international craft shows last year with more lined up this year. I’m happy that I’m able to take replicas of Omani doors, ships and lifestyle utensils worldwide”, Darwish added.