The village of Al Fara'a, located on the banks of Wadi al Sahtan near Al Rustaq, is a beautiful place to visit. The village is situated on the edge of Jabal Shams and enjoys a mild climate in summer. Water flows from the tops of the tall mountains, forming an exceptional panoramic view.
Because of its moderate climate, it has abundance of fresh water. The village has cultivation of palm, lemon, mango, quince, banana and many types of vegetables such as onion and garlic. All these agricultural products are marketed in local markets.
The residents of this village are famous for their skills in handicraft and beekeeping. They produce all kinds of bee honey due to the presence of natural pastures, especially Sidr and Samar trees. Some residents are also interested in raising livestock that produce meat and dairy products.
People also practise some handicrafts, such as weaving, manufacture of swords and daggers, and palm fronds. This indicates that these traditional crafts have not disappeared despite modern developments.
It has unique traditional architecture. Their homes are built on very high areas between the slopes of the mountains, and the village houses are climbed through stone-built stairs for long distances that give them another aesthetic.
Those who wish to explore this beautiful village must follow the mountain path that starts from the entrance to the village. Practising walking/hiking on this path requires high physical fitness, and those who wish to explore this village must be patient and have strong determination.
The water channels (aflaj) constitute the main source of water. In the village, there are two aflaj that were built on the edge of the mountains on the eastern and western sides. These water channels that transfer water over long distances represent a major source of agricultural development in the village.
There are water basins to avoid drought and continuous flow of water to vegetable and fruit plants.
Along the mountain path, that is, after a 3-km walk, there are archaeological sites. These sites are located on the heights of the mountains. They include ancient walls, houses and tombs built with stones and mud.
"These archaeological sites occupy a large area, but they began to disappear due to natural erosion and climatic changes, so most of the walls were destroyed and many burials disappeared, and what we see today are scenes that confirm human settlement of this village thousands of years ago," locals told the Observer.
The disappearance of these archaeological sites is of great concern to citizens. “We hope that the official authorities will look into it seriously to preserve this historical heritage through maintenance operations, and a fence must be erected to protect this site from the tampering of tourists and visitors to the village," locals added.
Previously, this village was not known, but after the spread of social media, the village became an important tourist attraction in the Wilayat of Al Rustaq. Today, dozens of tourists of different nationalities flock the village, and this is in the interest of tourism development in the Sultanate of Oman.
Local people advise visitors to adopt best practices and respect local sensitivities. They are also advised not to swim in the aflaj and water ponds because they are the only source of drinking and farming for the villagers.
TEXT& PHOTOS BY: YAHYA ALSALMANI