Sunday 14 January 2007

Oman: Muscat Festival – Qurum

After visiting the Muscat Festival in Athaiba on the opening day, we visited the second site in Qurum (the third is located in Seeb). Qurum has a more cultural flavour than the husband-sapping shop-fest in Athaiba with an Omani cultural village, Arabian markets and International Theatre. As we entered, huge vats of molten halwa wafted their sweet steamy smoke over the crowd, but Mrs M's eyes were immediately drawn to the enormous copper pots which we need apparently for the garden. Sigh. I strolled behind trying to avoid pottery, carpet and jewellery stands. A quick stop in the food area for a fateera (stuffed pancake) and a chat with a nice Jordanian lady gave me the will to continue.

We wandered for hours, ending up at the elegantly entitled 'forum of people's culture' where representatives from countries such as China, Malaysia, Algeria, Egypt and Yemen tinkered with clay, wood and metal. After three hours we headed back to the car wondering why so few foreigners had bothered to come to fascinating insight into Omani culture.

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