Muscat: One of the places where I spent my childhood was Rumais. It is a 15-kilometre drive from Barka and is famous for “Naseem Park”. Every now and then, I come here to find my lost childhood. Yet this time my visit spurred me to think like an economist and to jot down a few lines.
Even though it is a very small bazar, in the evenings it has a bustling crowd, and the market looks effective and efficient. It’s like a free market, the buyers and sellers both look charming at the same time.
I dropped my wife and mother off at a relative’s house and then went to the market. On my right, I could see small grocery stores and electronics shops. On my left, there was the football pitch I used to play on in my teenage years.
The entire experience reminded me of my childhood and I can picture myself going to the grocery store as a child to buy groceries. Yes, I can also see the barber shop where I used to get my hair cut for four hundred baizas. In front of me, I can see the mosque that I used to go to memories of my school’s lessons since the area was quiet after the prayers.
“How much does a rock melon cost?”, I asked the Omani who was selling rock melons from his white-colored pick-up truck. “Just pay me one riyal and take eight pieces”, he replied. His appearance, despite his age, showed a very lively person who was enjoying what he was doing. I bought eight pieces for one rial.
“Can I take your photo?”, I requested him. “My photo!”, he surprisingly laughed. “What would you do with my photo?”, he asked me. “It’s good to let the world know that someone in your age is still active and working like a young man, and this might motivate and inspire others to follow you”, I persuaded him and took his photo.
“Let me look good, in the picture”, he said.
“I have a farm in Barka and cultivate these fruits, then sell them here at night”, he answered me when I asked him about his activities. “How much do you earn per day?”, I asked him. “Speaking honestly, I don’t earn that much, but I can still feed my family and I’m satisfied.
“In some days, I earn ten rials, but on other days more or less”, he said. Instead asking his name from the beginning of the conversation, I asked him at the end.
“What is your name?”, I asked. “I am Saeed Al Wahibi”, he answered me with a smiling face, the face which made me energetic and happy.
Rumais is one of the areas where dozens of farms exist. The agrobusiness should be promoted in the market and financial intuitions should be developed to support such business. Often, commercial banks offer “fund raising” services in this market.