Wadi Al Maawil A wilayat steeped in history

ADI AL MAAWIL: Dozens of ancient towers, fortresses, castles and mosques testify to the long history and rich heritage of the Wilayat of Wadi al Maawil in the Governorate of South Al Batinah. The historical importance of this ancient wilayat is reflected in the social and cultural traditions carried through generations. The wilayat has to its credit many celebrated scholars, poets and writers.
Shaikh Saleh bin Saud al Maawali said that the wilayat hosts a large number of old towers and fortresses, houses, mosques and archaeological castles that bear witness to its long history and tradition.
The Sultanate’s government, under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, is making great efforts to restore and preserve these monuments.
One of the oldest and most important historical landmarks in the wilayat is the fortress of Safala in the centre of Afi village.
Shaikh al Maawali pointed out that one of the most important monuments in the wilayat is the Shaikh’s room in Afi village. It is rectangular and surrounded by palm trees. Bait Matma is also located in the village, on a cliff. It was used for protection and built of mud and gravel.
He referred to Bait Al Ghasham in Al Shali village, which is one of the oldest houses of renown. It is located among a group of houses and farms. The house has been restored to host a range of social, tourist, religious, cultural and intellectual activities. It contains a library and theatre, which is visited by tourists throughout the year.
Shaikh al Maawali also highlighted the features of Al Mutla fortress, saying that it has four towers with openings for fire. The fortress is located in the centre of Afi village.
Bait Al Khilaiwa, one of the old houses, can be seen by visitors or passersby from the main road linking the Wilayat of Barka and the Wilayat of Wadi al Maawil.
Burj Al Areeq has a circular shape and is located inside the old neighbourhood. It consists of one floor and one entrance. Near the Burj, there is a water well that was used for protection. Al Hujra Tower is located in the centre of the village of Habra, and there are a number of new houses near the tower.
Burj Al Zaema overlooks the road linking the Wilayat of Barka and the Wilayat of Wadi al Maawil. Burj Al Shamsi consists of one floor and has a square shape. Next to it, there is a falaj, the ancient irrigation system or water channel. The Burj is located on a flat ground in the village of Habra.
Shaikh al Maawali said about Burj Al Wasit in Al Wasit village: “It is semi-existent, circular in shape and consists of one floor and one entrance. There is a new house adjacent to the tower”.
As for Al Hujra Castle in Al Lajal village in the east of the wilayat, Shaikh al Maawali said: “The castle stands on the top of a mountain. It exists and has a number of rooms”.
Al Hadria Burj neighbourhood is semi-circular, overlooking a group of date-palm trees and a group of mud houses.
He also touched on the monuments in Masalmat village. He said: “In the old Al Hujra neighbourhood, Burj Al Hujra is located on a hill surrounded by date-palm trees and new houses. It has a water well and fire openings. It consists of two floors and has one entrance. Burj Al Fori is surrounded by date-palm farms and new houses”.
He also referred to the archaeological sites in some villages in Wadi Mestal in the wilayat, including Al Ghubrah village where Burj Al Ghubrah is located.