Sunday, February 7, 2010

Nizwa & Oman...

View from my hotel room in Nizwa...


I'm currently stationed in a city named Nizwa in Oman, where I'm teaching architecture at a local university. Oman is a truly awe inspiring and beautiful place, with expansive date-palm oasis, tall reams of arid mountains flanking extensive horizontal planes of reddish rock, and a monochromatically dressed population that, at least here, a bit over an hours drive from the capital Muscat, consists of women being dressed from head to toe black abayas and the men wearing white dishdashas which are always accompanied by either a distinct conical hat (a kumah) or a turban-like, wrap-around, muzzar. There's a certain benign eloquence to the consistency of the local wear that, in its uniformity, reflects the ascetic qualities of both the rural and urban environments...

At some level Oman is what (before Dubai became 'Dubai') outsiders to the region might have imagined the Middle-East would be, with camels and goats casually occupying the areas adjacents to streets and highways, and traditional, now usually abandoned, mud & wood buildings still announcing their benign presence in the more sparsely populated residential neighbourhoods. If you're planning a trip to the region, Oman should be included and allowed to occupy at least a few days in your travel itenirary...



Some of the adjacent mountain ranges flanking the drive down to Nizwa from Muscat...


A young Omani wearing traditional headgear...


Above and below - Scattered signs of modernity can be seen spot-marking and criss-crossing the arid and ascetic landscape...



The back of a mosque in a residential neighbourhood in Nizwa...


Young Omanis playing ball on a residential street...


'Chillaxing' Omani style...


A traditional door-way found in one of the countless abandoned mud buildings scattered around town...


A small canal delivering fresh water from an oasis to the various residential districts and date-palm farms...


View over Nizwa...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found your blog by chance !! I adore it . . I'm an interior architect in kuwait .
here 's my contact .
zeldadesign@yahoo.com

Thomas said...

Thank you 'Zelda Design' for your kind words... I'll try to keep up with my end of the bargain with regular (at least weekly) post on region related matters...

All the best,

Tom

Budour said...

So Beautiful! I'm dying to visit Oman!

Thomas said...

Hi Budour,

Great to hear from you...

For more pictures from the region check out the following posts from the smArchitecture blog:

http://smarchitecture.blogspot.com/2010/03/favorite-buildings-structures-visited.html

http://smarchitecture.blogspot.com/2010/02/mud-village-firq-oman.html

http://smarchitecture.blogspot.com/2010/03/making-mud-bricks-omani-style.html

Tom