Muscat: If, by any chance, you happen to come across an Omani man performing a handstand outside a prominent public place, don’t be surprised — Fahad Al Abri plans on completing handstands in every country across
A personal trainer based in Muscat, Al Abri has always been very passionate about fitness, having previously played Gaelic football for the Sultanate at the 2015 GAA World Championships in Ireland, and represented his country at the Spartan Race world championships in the USA earlier this year. “I like the symbolism behind the handstand,” Al Abri revealed on his website, whose journey has been called ‘Handstand Every City’.
“It is a pose that requires a lot of strength and balance, not only physically, but also mentally. It presents a psychological barrier because it pushes you outside your comfort zone.
“Once you have conquered it, you can see that there is no limit to what you can achieve if you set your mind to it,” he added.
“It allows you to see the world from a whole new perspective. Handstand Every City is a journey of handstanding every landmark, cause, city, promoting wellness, happiness and travelling around the world. Breaking through cultural barriers using a handstand which symbolises seeing the world in a different perspective.”
While Al Abri has extensively handstanded in Oman so far, his immediate plans have also seen him travel to Tanzania and Italy. He is soon expected to visit Great Britain, Switzerland and Spain, before heading to other nations across the globe.
So far, Al Abri’s favourite places to see upside down in Oman have been the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the Royal Opera House, and Muttrah Souq.
As I rotated my interpretive lens I observed a mammoth 300,000 tonne table crafted from Indian sandstone – quite an appropriate symbol, given that mosques are the age-old bedrock of ritual worship in the Islamic tradition,” he wrote.
“The minarets were constructed in accordance with traditional Islamic architecture and — whilst down here — represent the solid structure of the most beautiful table I have ever seen, all gracefully resting on a bed of cloud,” added Al Abri.
“The mosque houses a prayer carpet of luxurious Persian design, weaved together with an incredible 1.7 billion knots and a weight of 21 tonnes. If you’re in Muscat I suggest you visit early morning and avoid prayer times. It’s truly a great place to meet people from around the world who attend daily.”
Muttrah Souq to Fahad represented a time machine of sorts.
“Whilst I’m down here, I confess with amusement, its looks like nothing other than a time machine!” he exclaimed. “Interestingly enough, when you engage such an array of heritage in a single multicultural snapshot, time is in a manner suspended, and an interpretive journey is indeed underway. If you’re nearby, take my word for it, an afternoon walk through the souq is just lovely.”
And what were his thoughts on Muscat’s famed opera house?
“As I place my hands on the floor and flip the script, I see the unique and complex integration of Omani, Italian, and pan Islamic architectural influence reflecting upon magnificent marble flooring – it’s almost a cultural mirror lending perspective,”
wrote Al Abri.
“Plácido Domingo recently had the honour of attending, as we did in seeing him perform, following in the footsteps of classical musician Yo-Yo Ma, and the extraordinary Renée Fleming,” he added. “A walk around is a must, but tickets are what you want.”