Focal Point

Proudly keeping the heritage alive

The area in Salalah, Dhofar, at the colored Al Rowas mosque and with the white Aqil mosque in the background, is historical. Successively built by three families, the Aqil mosque established in 1774, expanded from a small prayer house for four persons to a Friday mosque for 1360 men and 720 women. In this area, rulers involved in the history of Dhofar before 1970, resided here. Houses architecturally related with the Yemen Hadrami style are still witnesses of that time.

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In this area, “Zanoog,” or the traditional dance influenced by the African heritage of the participants of Salalah, Taqah, Mirbat, Sadh….took place. On the rhythm of two big drums, and on the sound of singers the dances move slowly forwards. Daggers, swords and wooden sticks are held up high. And always there is the rhythm of the feet.

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Sultan Qaboos, the current leader of Oman, ensured that the rapid economic development was always accompanied by specific measures to preserve Oman’s traditional heritage and its Arab/Islamic identity. Following a Royal order of the palace, yearly this festival takes place.

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