Al Hamra’s ‘That Khail’ village preserves social, cultural fabric
December 16, 2017 | 10:32 PM
by ONA
‘That Khail’ village, an agricultural village and an abundant oasis to the east of Al Hamra’s city centre in the Governorate of A’Dakhiliyah, is one of the oldest villages in the wilaya.- ONA

Al Hamra: ‘That Khail’ village, an agricultural village and an abundant oasis to the east of Al Hamra’s city centre in the Governorate of A’Dakhiliyah, is one of the oldest villages in the wilaya.

It is located in the south eastern part of the wilaya and is named thus — according to successive generations — because of its association with horse breeding.

A valley in That Khail village divides the town into two sections. The valley is rich with dense trees all year round.

This valley extends to Wadi Shama, which descends from the peaks of Al Jabal Al Sharqi, and continues up to the junction of the wadis in Wadi Al Khour area, known as the meeting point of Al Hamra wadis.

The name Wadi Shama means “it radiates water,” as it is constantly flowing.

Like many of the Omani villages before the blessed Renaissance, life was difficult in the village because of the lack of basic services. However, That Khail Village has survived because of its flexibility. Wells in the village serve as sources of drinking water, while shops stocked with a variety of foods provide for the daily needs of its population.

With the progress of civilisation and the increasing population, successive generations have left the village and moved on to other agricultural lands. The population of the village is about 1,500 people now.

The Omani man’s craftsmanship is embodied in the architecture of this village, as it is necessary to be a witness to the importance of integrated life and similarities with the other neighbourhoods in solidity, fortification and basic services for its inhabitants.

That Khail Village is composed of multi-storey houses, surrounded by walls and protected by towers from all sides. In an interview with Oman News Agency (ONA), Nasser bin Ali Al Khayari said that though That Khail Village lacked the Aflaj, used as a source of water by villagers to irrigate their farms, it did not prevent the villagers from rehabilitating the arable areas and digging wells, fed by the Wadi that runs in the village.

The village is famous for growing palms of various kinds, as well as fruits, citrus and animal feed, such as maize and corn, he added. The villagers are keen to grow seasonal crops, such as whole grains, legumes, garlic, onions and vegetables. Farmers market their agricultural products in Al Hamra market, thus stimulating the commercial activity in the market, he noted.

In addition to their keenness to practise agriculture, the villagers take care to raise cattle, such as cows, sheep and goats, as well as birds and poultry, he stressed. Villagers in That Khail Village are widely engaged in sugarcane cultivation and its derivatives industry.

Since the beginning of the blessed Renaissance, the villagers have tried to develop their village through cultural activities and have encouraged parents to enrol their children in schools, besides educating the elderly.

Yousef bin Ali Al Khayari, a resident of That Khail village and a member of the That Khail team of Al Hamra Sports Cultural Club, stated, “Since the dawn of the blessed Renaissance, the village has been blessed with many developmental services, the most important of which are the road services, linking it with the wilaya, other wilayats and governorates, electricity, telephone, internet, municipal services, agricultural development and other governmental services.”

The villagers have also received healthcare services and education, and they have worked to make it an educated village through the social and cultural That Khail team, he highlighted.

The members of the team are keen to establish cultural, social and sports activities that are diverse and useful.

It is one of the founding teams of Al Hamra Club, which was established in 1978. - ONA

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