The wilayat of Al Khaboura prides itself of rich and diverse history along with being blessed with beautiful natural flora and fauna. The area boasts a wide variety of different terrains with the human population habiting the areas around its long coastal strip. But another part of the region is fully made up of mountainous areas and this is what divides the different villages and communities here.
Al Khaboura also has regions of lush greenery in its fertile valleys such as Wadi Al Shavean, Wadi Al Sarmi, Wadi Halhal along with many others. And like any fertile areas, people flocked to these areas and set up villages at the edge of these mountains to reap the benefits of the fertile and crop producing lands.
The magic of mother nature
The mountainous regions provide its visitors with beautiful scenery and the warmth and charm that the villages in the area provide to its visitors. The area is a must-visit for those living in the country but also for those visiting to experience the uniqueness of the Sultanate of Oman.
The village of Mihat Beni Qayum is a quaint village, a hidden gem, tucked away between the mountains. Located in a fertile area, the tourists can enjoy the views and the greenery around as it also offers picturesque corners with running streams that run through the valley below.
The water from these streams are responsible for the lush greenery and the thriving of tall trees and along with nooks and caves, tourists are given many different options to choose from for their personal adventure.
The village of Al Miha is also the gateway into the valley which is a green oasis for seasonal agriculture and cultivation of fodder, vegetables and legumes. The farmers from the area also cultivate mango, citrus plants and palm trees, which occupies a large part of the village. Some of the crops famously produced in the area are nutmeg, balsamic, butter along with many others.
The uniqueness of this village and its location resembles that of a pearl inside an oyster — protected by mountains on each side and can only be accessed through the valley. Once inside, the area has an abundance of water and constant lush greenery, something unexpected in this desert land.
The road to this area is an experience in itself as one gets absorbed into the beautiful landscape around. Al Batinah is about 37 km away and can be reached through the Mashayq Bani Kharous road.
Muna Al-Kiyoumi, a resident of the village, said: “The village has taken its name from its location. It is far away from the rest of the civilisations. Al Miha means stay far away. It is currently flourishing with an urban renewal, modernization, expansion and progress at various levels.”
Culturally and traditionally, this special village is no different from its surrounding communities. They have the well-known hospitality and the warmth that the people on Oman are known for around the globe. They receive visitors well, show them their abode and let them experience this side of Oman’s rural life. The area is also known for its traditional Omani handicrafts like Rizha and Alaazi.
The village is also host to a number of historical structures such as forts, mosques and other archaeological marvels, including the mosque of the Defa, which is one of the oldest mosques in the Al Khaboura region. Along with the many remaining ruins of the old houses and structures, standing and fighting the odds is the fortress of Gurfa ruminating a display of an ancient civilization.
Falajs and the village
The village of Al Miha, unlike most other regions of the country has a year round supply of running water. The constantly flowing streams quench the thirst of the surrounding area producing lush flora. These streams also quench the needs of the people that reside here – providing them with cold water in the peak of summer and warmer water in the colder winter months. There are four main streams that flow through the years – Al Hobak, Falaj Kibi, Falaj Stahl, Falaj Al Bediah and Falaj Al Suqami.
The village of Miha Bani Qayum is well protected and looked after by the government in the Sultanate, the area has access to undisturbed power line, clean drinking water, support the maintenance of the area and its falajs and also setting up cable lines to strengthen the phone signals in these tucked away rural cities. The residents of the area have also been provided with good schools and health services to ensuring the area is self-sufficient and has the basic amenities.
Although far from Muscat, this enigmatic area of Al Khaboura really takes a long drive. But it is easy to see why people take time out of their lives to visit the place. Here, they can recharge their batteries and visit there for a period to relax and unwind. Those who wish to visit are advised to use 4×4 cars to ensure they are able to safely reach the valley of Al Miha and enjoy the lush greenery, streams of clean fresh water and the warmth of the villagers at the quant little town of Miha Bani Qayum.
Siham Al Saidi