Oman عُمان: through my eyes (1) Posted by Hanan Ben Nafa on May 4, 2020 in Arabic Language, Culture, Geography, History, Language Immersion, Vocabulary
As an Arab, Oman عُمَان was not a country that I knew or heard much about as is the case with the rest of the Gulf countries. It wasn’t until 2013 when I had the chance to go there when I was invited by a family member who used to live there temporarily. In this post (made of two parts), I’m excited to share with you my amazing experience تجربتي الرائعة there and the impressions الانطباعات I had of it and its people. Below, I will briefly tell you about my own perceptions in general, society, climate, landscape and landmarks I visited and tours I’ve been on.
I’m mainly going to talk about my experience of the capital of Oman – Muscat – where I spent most of my time while visiting Oman.
Oman is an Arabic country, part of the Arabian Peninsula شبه الجزيرة العربية where the rest of the gulf countries are. It’s a sultanate سلطنة , which is not different from the term kingdom مملكة .
Below is a photo of the Omani Rial الريال العماني which is the currency عملة used in Oman. I remember paying only 1 Rial on about an 8-minute taxi journey.
People الناس /المجتمع
Oman has a very small population and most people live in the capital city العاصمة . From what I noticed, Omanis come across as connected مترابطين , very relaxed and quiet هادئين people. This actually was one of the main reasons that made my visit to Oman very special! I really like how chilled people were and this was quite evident in the way they speak. Interestingly, during my two-week stay in Muscat, I only heard a car horn بوق السيارة being used once!! They’re also very kind طيبين and modest متواضعين .
Another thing that caught my attention about Omani is the high level of safety الأمان and security الأمن there. It’s normal to see families walk in parks and beaches by 11pm.
Weather in Oman is very hot حار جدًا country and subtropical شبه استوائي. Because situated along تقع على the cost ساحل and surrounded by مُحاطة بـ the Gulf of Oman خليج عمان in the Arabian sea بحر العرب, humidity الرطوبة is also a main characteristic of the weather there. I was quite lucky to visit in the autumn (end of October) as the weather was very warm دافئ جدًا but not hot. It even started to rain by the time I left – early November.
Landscape المناظر الطبيعة
Because it’s located along the coast, water/sea is a prominent feature of omani landscape, combined with mountains جبال ! Oman is a mountainous country بلاد جبلية and when driving in some roads in Muscat e.g., you can clearly see the mountains on both sides as if the road is literally carved out of the mountain.
Because of its mountainous nature, you can see many castles قلاع and forts حصون around as they were built as defence mechanism in war times in the old times.
Watch this space for more about Oman 😉
In the next part of this post, I will be talking about some of the iconic places and landmarks I visited to as well as the tours I went on!