Ruqaya Al Kindi –
In Rustaq is the old market, commonly known as Abu Thamania, and if you are lucky enough to visit, be sure to ask about Al Ramahi’s heritage shop. A small shop in size, it doesn’t take away from the amazing treasures one is sure to find inside. A glimpse into this interesting shop, you will immediately be taken back to an older time with artefacts, tools and trinkets that tell you the tales of an olden day Sultanate. It is inevitably feel a sense of nostalgia as you browse through these artefacts that lay in the foundation of Oman’s heritage, some of which Hilal bin Mohammed al Ramahi has been collecting since the early eighties.
Thousands of archaeological artifacts are collected by Al Ramahi as displayed at the shop, especially ancient coins and collections of women’s jewellery as well as weapons that were used by men in ancient times. Also seen are agricultural tools and utensils that were used in those ancient times “there are tools of up to 500 years old,” he said.
He did not collect these tools overnight, he said, “but it took me a long time, some of them inherited from my grandparents, some of them I bought from people, as well as, many of which I bought through my frequent visits to the markets spread in the Sultanate such as Sinaw, Ibri, Al Mudhaibi and Nizwa.”
At the beginning of his life, he worked as a fruit seller, but the returns were small. “In the same period, which coincided with the beginning of the 1980s, the demand for silver increased, so I entered into this field because one of my grandparents was fond of it,” he shared. He added, “since then I started to love collecting these items from our part and it truly became a hobby almost instantly.”
After he retired in 1996, he shared, “I returned to my hobby and I opened a shop in the old market of the Rustaq, to collect and preserve these artefacts akin to our Omani heritage and to ensure that the future generations know about it.”
Al Ramahi carried this passion and interest into his home as well, where he lives in Ain Al Kasfa in the Wilayat of Rustaq. “The guest reception room at my home is fully decorated with these historical tools, which make me very happy,” he said.