The Sultanate of Oman is a developing country transforming itself into a modern state, along with the ancient souks and hill forts there are luxurious hotels, prestigious palaces, a Grand Mosque and equally grand Opera House.
The Sultanate however still proudly embraces its traditions, preserving both its culture and heritage with resolute determination. Even in and around modern cities such as Muscat it is possible to discover the authentic Omani way of life.
Misfat al Abreyeen is located near Nizwa, a little over an hour away from the capital. It is surrounded by lush green date palms and is a thriving village which embodies this traditional way of life. The houses which line the narrow, steep and stepped streets are balanced on top of the surrounding hills and appear to be original buildings.
The success of the village is based on the irrigation system known as a falaj which runs through the centre. Basically a stone channel through which the life giving water flows. It is the source which maintains the date palms and provides the lush greenery which covers the hillside.
It apparently takes two hours to follow the falaj to the bottom, where the houses finish, not such a small village at all! It is a popular attraction in Oman but seemed relatively quiet at the time of this visit, and felt as if I was stepping back in time.
The importance of the falaj was emphasised when two men spent sometime there,whilst one had a full body wash the other thoroughly washed his clothing.
Misfat was one of my favourite places during this visit to Oman, a fascinating and attractive village and it is encouraging to see that the traditional Omani way of life is not just suviving but triving here.
More from Oman – Muscat, Oman – Festival of Faces