BY Hajer al Ruzaiqi –
Wadi al Meih located in Al Amerat at a quick glance may look like an ordinary wadi peppered with small villages. Many people pass by it not realising that deep within it are interesting features that will make the avid travellers fall in love with its hidden beauty.
Comprised of the five small villages of Al Mazra Al Hadri, Al Mazra Al Alwi, Al Raga, Al Qabil and Sanaa, each of these villages have their unique personalities but all enjoying an abundance of green gardens planted with date palms, vegetables and different fruit-bearing trees.
Hiking through the wadi to visit each of the villages, one will be stunned by its fascinating sceneries that are a delight to the eyes and indulge the senses. Visitors are often mesmerised by its valley alive with shrubs, singing birds, croaking frogs as well as the busy beetles among others.
Surrounded by high mountains, it is the perfect destination for hiking and camping. Some of the farms are also filled with lemons, mangoes, bananas, pomegranates, olives and even grapevines.
A common practice amongst the five villages in the area, many of the trees in the wadi are sources of herbal medicines.
From plants growing in abundance here, the villagers extract zamota, tafer al tais and al harmal. Villagers reported that to this day, a lot of them still depend on these trees for medication and often use leaves or branches and barks to treat different illnesses like stomach aches and fractures.
As Oman is filled with beautiful geological wonders, Wadi al Meih is just as blessed and from its ground, some rare metals can be found including a wide diversity of rocks that can entertain any geology student for days.
As of late, Wadi al Meih has grown in popularity because of its historical houses. Tourists had been coming in droves to gaze at the mud houses that had been here for generations and many of them also enjoy the traditional way of life the Omanis in the area still practise to this day. The villages here not only combines beautiful feature of the land with nature but they also enjoy nice weather and kind and hospitable Omanis.
Summer in Wadi al Meih tends to be very hot but in winter, the temperature can also drop making many of the residents enjoy the place all the more.
During the rainy season, the wadi usually is filled with rainwater and this is welcomed by the residents with gusto. For their livelihood, the residents of Wadi al Meih turn to farming and because of the good water system, the falaj helps them grow different crops all year long. The different crops they grow and harvest are often sold to neighbouring wilayats.
A small percentage of the population also work in some Omani traditional crafts industry while others devote their time in animal husbandry and small scale poultry.
For many of the residents in the area, they are looking forward to the enhancement of the quality of education for their kids. The adults have requested more support for their educational institutions as of today, there is only one school for both genders.
For the last two decades or so, the villages of Wadi al Meih and the beauty the wadi hides has been under the radar with not a lot of people realising that it is also a good alternative for outdoor adventure and sightseeing.
If one is looking for a new place to explore during the weekend, without a doubt, this is one of the fascinating destinations you can explore and for sure, it will not disappoint.