State-of-the-art museum coming up in Salalah

SALALAH, April 29 – A new state-of-the-art museum is to open early next year in Salalah’s Al Salam Street. The museum is to be housed in one of the oldest buildings of Salalah and named as Dhofar Museum with a large number of exhibits showcasing the traditional city, sea and mountain life of Dhofar and Oman. The museum is the brainchild of Shaikh Mohammed Abdul Mohsin al Ghassani, who himself is a great collector of old items and most of the exhibits at the museum would be the old items collected by him only. A passionate collector, Mohsin al Ghassani’s collections are as old as 200 years or more because he started collecting such items when he was quite young. Al Ghassani, 75, does not have any business interest in opening the museum, as he feels a dream come true when he is able to convert his own collections as exhibits in a museum that too in the family’s ancestral house.

Al Ghassani and his family members are exited for the new museum, as they have already started compiling the documents, photographs and paintings as also the items which were in use in day-to-day life during the times of their grand and great grandparents. Al Ghassani minutely observes the decoration and renovation which is being done under the supervision of experts.
This is Al Ghassani’s effort to reconnect the current generation with past and more precisely with the rich heritage and culture of Dhofar and Oman.
Among the exhibits are old coins, agriculture and carpenter tools and many other day-to-day utility items including ornaments, grain grinding tools made of stones and wood, kerosene cooking stoves, traditional games and musical instruments.
Help of photographs and paintings has also been taken to give the structure a feeling of virtual museum, as the architects have tried to maintain the originality of the house and have clearly mentioned if any alteration in original structure design has been done. The museum will reflect the richness of Dhofari people some 200 years ago. It would represent their way of life and economic and social activities and would be true replica of Omani history and culture.

Kaushalendra Singh