Thursday, January 3, 2013


As I mentioned in my last blog, my host family took a vacation over the winter break to that little part of Oman at the very North of our edge of the Arabian peninsula, the part that is actually separated from mainland Oman by the UAE. But the region was far too fascinating to be serviced by two photos and a few sentences, so here's some extra musings. 
The first thing you notice in Musandam are the mountains. By the sea, they look like this tired old men, worn smooth and grey by time, who have all slouched sideways for a short nap as they gaze out on the aquamarine waters. The slanting striations which uniformly cover the towering rock for miles really make you realize how the whole mountain range is all one piece, slowly pushing against other tectonic plates for eons, one which somebody decided one day to tilt 30 degrees instead of letting it standing up straight. 

Then there are the mountains more in the interior, the ones which are partially responsible for making it difficult to travel from Dibba to Khasab. While maybe not the prettiest mountains, they're certainly impressive; up close, they're soaring piles of grey-tan ruble, barren of vegetation other than low-lying shrubs and trees. 
No one was home, but someone definitely still lives here for at least part of the year
What's really amazing are the houses and villages dotting the peaks, even in this stark landscape, people have been living in the mountains for centuries, mainly goat herding but every now and then you'll see some terrace farming. Of course, not everyone decides to keep living in the mountains for generations. As we jostled through the the mountains on a one-lane dirt road, we found the remains of a stone housing compound, one which probably housing a mid-sized extended family.

I have no clue how old these foundations were, my host Dad thought they might have been abandoned in the 70s-a decade of much change in Oman-but no one can say for sure. One has to wonder though, what causes a whole community to abandon their home? What's the tipping point? Greater opportunity at the foot of the mountain? In the Emirates? Where did they go? All they leave us to ponder are a few knee-high walls of stacked stone where buildings once stood and a small burial plot. 

It's actually really strange to find any sort of inscription on a gravestone in  Oman, we're not sure why this one had a picture when the rest were blank.


  1. Yay for an update and another blog post! So exciting to hear about your time over there and to see the pictures!!! Thanks for posting!!! ((happy dance))

    1. hehe, causing megan to do a happy dance is exactly what I was going for with this post :)

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