Stamps celebrate Oman’s ancient system of irrigation

MUSCAT, DEC 29 – Oman Post has launched a new series of stamps on the aflaj of Oman, in partnership with the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources. The new set of stamps depicts the five historic irrigation systems inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, namely: Falaj Al Malki, Falaj Al Muyassar, Falaj Al Jeela, Falaj Daris and Falaj Al Khatmeen. Oman’s ancient water irrigation system is believed to date back more than 2,000 years. It represents an old traditional method to channel water from underground sources, springs, or surface runoff, and distributing it throughout towns and villages.

There are around 3,000 functioning aflaj until today, which demonstrate a long standing, sustainable use of water resources in an extremely arid landscape. They also reflect a time-honoured and effective management, and sharing of water resources, underpinned by mutual dependence and communal values. “Philatelists and history buffs will appreciate our new collection, which is a testament to Oman’s rich culture, heritage and history. In addition to promoting our country as a must-visit destination, our goal at Oman Post is to showcase what makes the Sultanate unique, and infuse it into commemorative stamps that can be enjoyed by all,” said Abdulmalik al Balushi, CEO of Oman Post.

“It is said that you have to know the past to understand the present, and the aflaj systems are a great reminder of the ingenuity and values of the Omani people,” he added. Drawing more and more tourists each year, the aflaj systems are currently the focus of restoration projects by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources in a bid to preserve this valuable part of Oman’s long history and national identity, an example of traditions that have been maintained for thousands of years.