Of budding entrepreneurs, ancient crafts, and lasting friendships

Energy Monday 04/February/2019 18:03 PM
By: Times News Service
Of budding entrepreneurs, ancient crafts, and lasting friendships

Muscat: Events at the Muscat festival included acrobatic performances, games, and a slice of Omani culture, which was represented at an exhibition, "Pearl of the Gulf", featuring Omani family entrepreneurs who took the opportunity to showcase their wares to a large audience.

The last day of the exhibition drew a large crowd of people, who came to see the wares from 56 families and SMEs.

The owner of Bint Sheikh for Bukhoor, perfumes and Abayas participated in the festival for the first time and said, “I was happy to market my products outside of Dhofar, since it taught me what customers like about my frankincense and Abaya collections. I’ll definitely participate again because of how popular the festival is."

Samiya bin Hamad Al Balushi, the owner of Juri Fashion, dreams of opening a store but is still taking her first steps. She participated in the Muscat Festival for the first time to showcase her collection of accessories for all ages, whereas Tufool Al Hadhri, who owns Harair for Abayas, has been participating in the Muscat Festival since 2016. She said that the exhibitions opened a pathway for women to market their products to a larger crowd, and some were then able to open their own stores.

For those who enjoy heritage, the cultural village at Amerat Park showed off the ancient Omani craft called "Al Zafara". Khalid Al Wahabi, one such craftsmen, said, “These ‘ship seats’, as we call them, are made from Indian wood, and we often use nylon to tie the bamboo sticks together since they work better than traditional ropes. The number of workers per ship depends on the size of the vessel. Fishing boats require more bamboo since they are constantly in motion and see all kinds of weather.”

While parents visited these exhibitions, children found joy and friendship exploring the festival areas and playing games. Take for instance the three friends—Maryam Al Wahaibi, Yasmin Al Alawi, and Fatmi Al Rashdi.

Fatma, who is 12 years old, said, “My father said yes and I came here with my friends to enjoy the fireworks and play some of the electronic games.”

Maryam added that she had come with her friends to enjoy and meet other friends, despite being on vacation. Her favourite was the theatre performance where she saw Disney characters.

Yasmin said, “I love watching the circus performances and meeting my friends. Sometimes we walk around and observe all the different activities taking place, and try some of the different foods at the festival."