Al Mazara Village, which is located about 25 km from the Wilayat of Quriyat, is distinguished by green orchards of corn, mangoes, dates and lemons, which are fed by the water that flows from the Wadi Dayqah Dam.
The village has all ingredients to transform it as an ideal location for ecotourism with its proximity to the largest dam in the Sultanate and its people’s association with many traditional crafts like palm fronds and pottery,
This village, nestled between the highest point of Al Hajar Mountains is home to historical landmarks that bear heritage of previous generations. It overlooks the banks of Wadi Dayqah opposite to the village of Hail Al Ghaf.
Over 300-year-old Falaj Hail al Ghaf is situated on the edge of the mountain. It extends from Al Mazara through al Khabeel area to reach at the end the centre of Hail al Ghaf farms. The falaj is situated 4 km away from the road which leads to Al Mazara Village.
There are also many mosques and ancient Aflaj in this stunning village, which flows through most of its residential neighborhood including the Al Qayta'i and the Al Seih.
Many of the archaeological sites in this village suffer from neglect and are on the verge of extinction. Most walls and towers on these premises are falling. Elements and termites have destroyed doors and windows. "These archaeological sites need special attention, because they represent the cultural value of this village. Its towers, forts and Afalaj are all symbols that exemplify Omanis’ life through the ages. The authorities should seriously consider the possibility of restoring it to its original glory for future generations,” the villagers said.
Al Mazraa castle, which is located in one of the highest mountain peaks in the village, is witnessing a steady deterioration. "Dozens of tourists flock every day to this historical landmark, as its location provides a panoramic view of the village farms. Tourists can take many unique photographs, but entry to this historical landmark is not safe, and does not meet the safety conditions."
One of the tourists expresses his anguish despite enjoying the ambience of the village. “Al Mazara Village is one of the most beautiful tourist villages that I visited in the Sultanate. This village offers a range of options like camping on the banks of the Wadi, hiking in the mountains surrounding the village and ending with getting to know an important part of the village.”
Castles, forts and water channels, which are flag bearers of Oman's tangible heritage, need more attention and development for people to better understand the past and draw lessons for the future.
TEXT & PHOTOS BY YAHYA AL SALMANI