Speaking to Muscat Daily, the group’s founder Sheikh Malik Hilal al Abri mentioned, “The wilayat of Al Hamra is one of the oldest cities in Oman. It is known for its heritage dating back to the ancient history. It has many historic landmarks. The Harat al Hamra neighbourhood has many houses built of clay as per the old Omani architectural style which is simple.”
Abri mentioned that the voluntary team which was founded in March has 65 members. “Our initiative consists of restoration of historical landmarks in Harat al Hamra such as homes, a public majlis, markets, wooden doors, spreading cultural awareness, cleaning the falaj and establishing a fund for the reconstruction of Harat al Hamra neighbourhood.
“We aim to have awareness campaigns for owners to maintain these houses. We also organise events to celebrate Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha.”
He added that Harat al Hamra has a public majlis for individuals to meet and go over matters of interest to them. “It is also used for weddings and funerals. We have Bait al Safah house which attracts a lot of tourists from different countries. The house is about 400 years old and was built using mud/clay bricks, the common building material at the time. It has old furniture and other decorations. Here, visitors can find local people demonstrating traditional ways of extracting oil from nuts, roasting and grinding coffee, grinding grains and making flour, and baking the traditional bread, rakhal.”
Abri mentioned that any such initiative requirements monetary and moral assistance. “We cooperate with Al Hamra Municipality, Be’ah, the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Heritage and Culture for support,” he added.
“Many tourists visit Al Hamra in the tourist season which runs from September to April. Tourists come from countries such as Germany, France, Belgium, Japan and China. We will continue to revive historic landmarks. We invite everyone to cooperate with us to restore ancient Harat because it can help generate revenues from tourism.”
Information Source: Muscat Daily