A touchstone of town planning

The old neighbourhood in the centre of the Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi, in the Governorate of North Al Sharqiyah, is one of the oldest residential areas in the wilayat, which includes a large number of houses, shops, mosques and other facilities. Many generations lived and grew up, still remembering life in every detail. The neighbourhood with its narrow roads and one or two-storey houses is an old and modern historical landmark in the wilayat. The houses are built with mud and plaster. Their gates are decorated with arches, palm tree trunks, and the houses reflect simplicity of living with no more than three rooms.
Said bin Hashil al Habsi, an old man in Al Mudhaibi, said, “The old neighbourhood is characterised by its gates that were closed at night and opened after dawn prayers and are still standing to this day. The neighbourhood’s town planning is a creative demonstration of the ability of the Omani citizens to design a unique urban civilisation. ‘‘Falaj Al Mudhaibi, known as Al Farsakhi, which flows through the neighbourhood, is a unique example of ancient Omani architecture. It was the main source for drinking water and other uses for the residents. The falaj passes through some of the mosques and houses of the neighbourhood, forming a panaromic view. In addition to Falaj Al Mudhaibi, there are wells that provide drinking water.
He said: “The mosques in the neighbourhood also formed prominent Islamic and cultural landmarks that show a great indication of religious importance. They are an important site of worship, learning the Holy Quran and meeting people. They are distributed throughout the neighbourhood according to the population. The most important of these are the mosques of “Awlad Hamad’’, Al Mafateeh and Al Sawar, which was one of the most important religious landmarks in the centre of the wilayat and a platform for knowledge, where a number of citizens were taught the holy Quran and memorising it’’.
Al Habsi pointed out that the most important characteristic of the old neighbourhood is that it is located on the outskirts of palm trees oasis, where the balconies of some of their homes overlook them. It is worth mentioning that the old neighbourhoods in the Sultanate constitute one of the unique historical models that characterise the Omani wilayats and villages in their designs and engineering that indicate the ability of the Omani citizen to build despite the lack of mechanical capabilities and manpower in that period. Many of these neighbourhoods attract many tourists who come to learn about their components, engineering and way of life in ancient times. — ONA