Oman’s Cultural Legacy Oman’s Cultural Legacy
Oman’s Cultural Legacy

 

Oman has been a major tourist attraction in the Middle East for the Europeans and other visitors from across the world. In recent years the number of tourists attracted to Oman’s friendly people and heritage sites have increased manifold.

 

Oman's edifying heritage is inspirational as portrayed through its lively souks, impressive forts, an assortment of cultural arts, majestic fragrances, affluent architecture, traditional jewellery, folk arts and performances. Omani people take pride in their enriching cultural heritage and make an effort to conserve this wealth.

 

For people who take pleasure in reviving history and have an eye for arts, architecture and niceties of a civil society, Oman is the perfect place. Whether it is the ancient city of Nizwaor the coastal city of Salalah, every area and region reflect Oman's rich cultural heritage and are enriched with pure culture and traditional lifestyle in every facet.

Omani culture takes pride in its roots which is firm in Islam. It developed its individual school of thought, called
 Ibadism, after its founder, Abdullah Ibn Ibad who lived during the 7th century AD. Not all Omanis are Ibadis, as there are Sunni and Shia Muslims as well. Omanis are not only liberal of the viewpoint of different Muslim sects but are also open-minded towards supporters of other faiths, who are allowed to practice their religion in churches and temples. Islam is based on the accomplishment of the 'Five Pillars of Islam'. A believer and practitioner of these five pillars is considered as a true Muslim.

The
 Awqaf refers to religious donations which can be property or revenue and are governed by the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs for maintenance of mosques and benefits accrued to the society. Zakat is a charity tax which is given to the needy.

All Muslims are required to fast during Ramadan which is observed in the ninth month of the Islamic year and is regarded as one of the Pillars of Islam. Each year, for 29 or 30 days depending on the lunar calendar, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual desires during the hours of fasting (from dawn to dusk). Ramadan advances 10 to 11 days each year as it is governed by the lunar calendar. Before dawn, Muslims observe a pre-fast meal called Suhoor after which they offer the first prayer of the day - Fajr. At sunset, they break their fast with the meal known as Iftar. They offer extra prayers during Ramadan which are done after the Isha (night prayers) called Taraweeh.

The Haj or pilgrimage is another Pillar of Islam. The pilgrims take a trip to
 Al-Medina in Saudi Arabia to visit the Prophet's tomb before visiting the holy sites in Mecca. The pilgrimage is facilitated by the Ministry, which ensure the pilgrims' wellbeing and security during their course of stay.

Oman encompasses an unparalleled number of UNESCO-classified World Heritage Sites. Some of them are the Al-Blaid, a site in the ancient city of
 Zafar; Bat with its tombs dating back to 3,000 years; Bahla Fort and Ras Al-Hadd which is the abode of the exceptionalGreen Sea Turtle.

Oman's heritage also comprises a well-known sea-faring tradition, as it has 1,700 kilometers-long coastline. Museums and galleries around the secluded and remarkable harbours of Muscat and
 Muttrah elucidate the significance of the sea and Oman's 5,000 year-old history.

 

Do you know

 

  • Omani handicrafts are unique and distinctive.
  • Experience Oman's culture diversity at many museums.
  • Don't miss to visit Oman Centre for Traditional Music.

 

 

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