Shining forever

Salam bin Sulaim al Manthri was an artist when it comes to polishing old copper vessels and restoring its original glory. There are not many left in this craft that Nizwa was famous about for hundreds of years ago. The sight of Salam in his twilight years in the Nizwa market was a familiar sight to passersby. Till his death, he was busy bringing back the mirror shine of copper utensils. Salam used fire and hammer and the anvil to bring magic to the worn out wares brought by his customers. “People are like metals.

They need someone to purify their hearts, and nothing in that is greater than the book of Allah. It clears the hearts just as ammonia does it for these utensils.” In the last days of his life, his body was getting weaker day after day, and his strength began to decline. But he never took break from his work. He was proud of his craft and he passed on the tricks of this ancient craft to his children. His children learned the art working with him. Today, when they look at their father’s empty chair, a smile comes to their lips. They know their father is prodding them to make the utensils shinier and keep the magic alive.

— Photos by Khalan al Salhami