Friday, May 07, 2021 | Ramadan 24, 1442 H
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Intriguing Imti now a hotbed for tourists


Imty Village has once faded into oblivion with barely any tourist not knowing where the place is located. While it is a historical and an important archaeological site, its time-defying beauty was almost forgotten not only because of residents moving out but also because of other challenges particularly the rise of bigger villages and even massive cities.

The construction of Imty village is really impressive. The founders of the village used stone and clay and this was passed on for generations. They have mastered house building using these materials that the shelters remain strong for hundreds of years.

The village is characterised by charming gardens, lush plantations and time-tested defence towers and fences. Overall, it is a village with exceptional beauty — something worthy to be immortalised on paintings.

But while it seemed that Imty has lost its spark, recent efforts made by the Oman Society for Fine Arts (OSFA) has brought fresh attention to this village.

‘Imty with Colours of Goodness,’ an art project under the auspices of Engineer Mohsin bin Mohammed al Shaikh, Chairman of Muscat Municipality has made the village front and centre of an artistic effort.

Many artists came together with their brushes and unique styles to gain inspiration from the beauty of this charming village and immortalise it on paintings. By doing so, they were giving a new lease of life to one of the rare Omani places unknown to the outside world and presenting it from a new perspective that celebrates history with art.

The Al Ain and Al Sawad neighbourhoods in Imty Village are historic Omani sites filled with historical, cultural, archaeological, natural and demographic elements that offer a feast to the eyes of the visitors.

With the first of its kind project in the arena of art and culture in the Sultanate, under the slogan “To Immortalise the Archaeological Moment in Art,” the project included the installation of wall paintings, floor tiles and maintenance of the houses and walls of the village.

“As an Omani artist, I am glad to have embraced the idea of creating an art project and the challenge was to present them in a modern style that matches what is presented on the touristic scene globally”, Maryam al Zadjali, Chairman of the Omani Society for Fine Arts (OSFA) said.

“I’m thankful to the private companies and the Ministry of Heritage and Culture for the support being extended to the project”, adds Maryam.

Earlier, an event titled ‘Let’s Draw Together’ was held where 19 artists from OSFA joined hands as part of the cultural and tourist art project, “Commemorating the archaeological moment by art” in Al Ain and Al Suwad villages in Imty, which was adopted by Maryam.

Acclaimed artists like Anwar Sonia, Salim Sakhi, Abdulkarim al Maimani, Nayla al Maamari, Yousuf al Nahawi, Issa al Mafraji and Saleh al Alawi, besides those from the Samat Artistic group, participated in the event under the guidance of Shaikh Masoud bin Ali al Sulaimi.

“The paintings by artists are beautiful and expressive.” Her Highness Sayyida Aliya bint Thuwaini al Said said after visiting the works by the artists.

The works, different paintings and wall paintings using a variety of mediums displayed the life of a bygone era, their tradition, the elegance of ancient architectural arts and forms of heritage and civilisation that stood tower-tall in the village, and the ancient man’s dwellings in mud and stone edifices which were testimonies of diversified cultural features of the past.

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