Yemeni artefacts a treat to curious eyes

909098By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT: Jan 25 – Visitors at the stall housing Yemeni artefacts at Naseem Garden, one of the two venues of the Muscat Festival, were rapt with attention as Mansoor al Ojaili enlightened them about Yemen’s history. His depth of knowledge coupled with the range of artefacts showcased ensured it was one of the most-visited or talked-about stalls at the festival. It has been drawing people in large numbers irrespective of their age and nationality. The stall manned by Al Ojaili was showcasing rare artefacts, some dating back to centuries, including cutlery and utensils from a bygone era, clay, bamboo and bronze household items, besides women’s attire and ornaments.
“This is the first time I’m participating in the festival and the response has been awe-inspiring,” said Al Ojaili.
He is proud to have brought in bronze pots and pans and centuries-old swords to the festival. “Yemen is 909618the Arab region’s forgotten jewel, a country whose breathtaking beauty and awe-inspiring scenery have attracted generations of travellers.”
“According to Yemeni folklore, the southern port city of Aden is the site of the Garden of Eden, the burial place of Cain and Abel or the launch port of Noah’s legendary ark,” says Al Ojaili, delving into the pages of history.
According to him, what is undisputed is that “Yemen was one of the wealthiest and most powerful trading empires in the ancient world dominating the myrrh and frankincense trade”.
“We have a 7,000-year-old history and the capital city of Sana’a alone has more than 20,000 palaces, many of them hundreds of years old,” explains Al Ojaili to a group of visitors around him. He said most of the Yemeni artefacts are excavated from unexplored desert sites by tribes. Many of these, he said, are displayed at the National Museum which protects Yemen’s rich heritage.