Monday, December 05, 2022 | Jumada al-ula 10, 1444 H
clear sky
weather
OMAN
22°C / 22°C
EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Al Qabil: A hidden gem in the desert — is now ready to welcome tourists

2155957
2155957


There are many surprising things about Al Qabil. This agricultural village in the Al Sharqiyah Governorate is a hidden gem that remains to be unknown to a lot of people but taking a stroll during its Saturday morning souq unveiled many interesting facts.


Having been invited by Fahar bin Hamood al Farsi, the young Omani running the Instagram account @Generations_oman, we left Muscat at 4 am without expectations of what was awaiting us in the area.


Fahar has been investing his time to put both Al Qabil and his home town Mudhairib on the tourist maps that part of his effort is to extend invites to media and influencers to shed light on the area.


2155960
2155960


Fahar shared that as of today, they are organising a local morning souq in the village at least once a month.


“Winter is coming and the villagers are planning to organise regular souq meets every Saturday with different themes. It will be an ideal place to showcase the handcrafted items by the locals and sell them,” Fahar shared.


He added, “Also they are trying to create a place where the locals and the tourists can come and meet each other to exchange the culture and tradition more conventionally.”


During the souq market day, kids and adults alike dress up in their best clothes that mirror how their ancient souqs used to do.


Jihan al Harthiyah, the souq leader looked very determined to convert this Village souq day into a festival day for Al Qabil.


2155953
2155953


“I have been to different villages and weekend markets but the vibes at Al Qabil were a different experience than any of my previous ones. It was 7 am when we reached near to the souq area, the villagers were busy preparing their stalls and decorating and arranging their products. It felt heartwarming to us when they approached every tourist visiting the souq to greet and accompany them,” she said


“Overall it felt like all the villagers merged like a huge family celebrating their weekend together, spreading their deep-rooted culture and showcasing the crafts at the same time. It was more like a family-oriented gathering welcoming international tourists to be part of it,” she added.


Villagers came with homemade items to sell and some of them were exhibiting the process in front of your eyes.


Rabae al Maskari, who was making the Mandoos using palm leaves was catching everyone’s attention though. Instead of making the flat mats or regular items that we see, he was preparing different household items using palm leaves.


Other villagers were selling traditional dress materials having intricate handwork on them, not to mention spices honey, and date stalls are mandatory in any souq you visit.


There were also ladies making wristbands and key chains using goat wool. Surprisingly I have never seen these items except in the mountain areas. A teenage girl was showcasing her drawing talent, also some small toy stalls were there with kids around them. The smell from the different food stalls was creating an aroma around the entire place.


Mostly when we visit any souq it is all about the shops and the items but Al Qabil Village souq was providing a different experience to add to your memory. It was kind of a festival among the villagers where the tourists were allowed to blend smoothly.


2155959
2155959


Every villager was interacting with the tourists and noticed that most of them were explaining the culture, craft, food or lifestyle and some were busy attending to the buyers who wanted the items to take back to their own country as perfect souvenirs. Generations_oman and the leader of the souq Jihan Al Harthiyah were thoughtful enough that they even organised some entertainment for the people attending the village souq. To entertain the crowd they organised a dramatic entry of blogger Amelia, who promotes the Omani villages and villager’s life, craft, and products through her Instagram page. The horse and donkey ride was stealing the show, not only the kids but witnessed many tourists taking the short rides to take pictures. Here want to mention, no animals were harmed and villagers take care of them.


SHARE ARTICLE
arrow up
home icon