A Czech explorer with a passion for adventure travel, archaeology and photography has fond memories of the Sultanate.
Roman Garba terms his first visit to the Sultanate in 2003 as a ‘life-changing experience’. In 2009, Roman was to come back again as a resident to live and work with his family for six years. This later turned out to be a turning point in his life.
He worked in the industrial centre of Al Duqm in Al Wusta Governorate for the telecommunication sector where he helped build optical and wireless fast Internet service across the Sultanate. It was then a place for huge economic development with a need for Internet and mobile coverage and he was part of it.
An avid traveller, Roman has also jetted through to over 130 countries. These include Ethiopia, Sudan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, Djibouti, Rwanda, Mauritania, Vanuatu, Fiji, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Comoros.
But the only one foreign country that has secured a privilege in his heart is the Sultanate.
“Oman is my second home and I want to inspire people from abroad to visit this beautiful country, the country of friendly and welcoming people, the country rich in nature and history,” recalls Roman, now based in Prague.
Together with Petr Pluhacek, a friend, the pair travelled from Salalah up to the Al Hajar Mountains where Roman captured the vast beauty of the Sultanate on his lens.
The photographs, together with the basic information about the Sultanate, were presented in a dedicated exhibition in the four cities across the Czech Republic namely Prague, Dobrichovice, Mnisek pod Brdy and Frydek-Mistek.
Portrait of Discovery
In the Sultanate, his photographs were part of exhibitions namely the ‘Duqm: Portrait of Discovery’ in Bait Muzna Gallery in 2011 and secondly 90 photographs in ‘Oman history in images: the making of a civilisation through the ages’ organised by Ministry of Heritage and Culture in 2013.
Together with Peter Farrington, a Canadian photographer-cum-painter and a former resident of the Sultanate, Roman became engaged in environmental photography and community projects for Al Duqm.
In the course of time, he built an increasing admiration for an incredible geological and archaeological heritage of this little known part of Oman. Nearly every weekend, Roman with his family and friends went outdoors to explore and photograph every corner of Oman.
His favourite trip is the coastal road from Ras al Hadd to Salalah with its ever changing landscape and breathtaking views of the Wadi Shuwaymiyah-Hasik mountain road.
He could not afford to miss every Khareef season in Dhofar to conduct exploratory ‘jungle treks’ and spend time in the baobab forest.
Roman’s life’s passion lies in the history and archaeology of Arabia. He left telecommunications to study archaeology in the UK and got engaged with Italian archaeologists in Oman. After studies, he became the leader of an archaeological expedition called TSMO (Triliths, Stone Monuments of Oman) and tried to uncover the mystery of trilith monuments, the 2,000 year-old mysterious megalithic stone structures.
Roman is also part of a team of archaeologists from the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria and Jordan towards conducting research on the study of ‘Triliths’, the Iron Age ritual stone monuments.
This is being done in cooperation with the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism as they try to reveal the mystery of 2,000 year-old ritual stone monuments in the Sultanate.