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Walking through history

26 Dec 2020 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

Being a country with a rich history, Oman has countless ruins, forts, castles and natural wonders that are still being explored and found today by the new generation. For a firsthand experience of these and to learn more about the hidden treasures of Oman, one doesn’t always have to drive but can walk to these locations, according to Hilmi al Kindi and his friend Nawaf al Sulaimani.

In an effort to relive Oman’s history, rediscover its natural wonders and find new ones, Kindi – who has quite possibly spent his life walking in and around the sultanate to spread various social messages – has now embarked on a project he calls ‘Tracing Our Ancestors’. 

Kindi, who loves history and seemingly endless walking expeditions in equal measures, if not more, said Oman still has many undiscovered historical sites. He roped in his friend Sulaimani to walk to different locations across the country and has so far visited Old Al Khoudh, Samail and Izki.

“The aim of our project is to spread the message about preserving and learning from our Omani heritage among the youth and, consequently, the generation that follows. Some of our historical structures reveal the best of creativity. Omanis are hard working and even without today’s engineering and technologies, they created miracles,” Kindi told Muscat Daily.

Kindi, 40, plans to cover most of the country, if not all of it, with Tracing Our Ancestors and write a book about the hidden history of Oman. Additionally, he is eager to make documentaries about Oman’s heritage structures. 

“I hope the authorities can maintain them, and carry out restoration works where necessary, because some of these structures are very old. They need proper care,” he said, adding that these sites can promote tourism in Oman.

While still not halfway through his Tracing Our Ancestors project, Kindi is firming up plans for his next. 

“After I’ve walked to all the heritage sites of Oman, and I have documentaries on these, I plan to walk around the world to showcase them. As an Omani, it is my duty to promote the country in whatever way I can. I am proud of our ancestors and learning about them, and the structures they made, prompted me to start this project,” he said.

However, Kindi has faced disappointment in securing sponsorship for his project. 

“For over a year before embarking on this, I tried getting a sponsor. But it was in vain. This has been my long-time dream. So I decided to just team up with Sulaimani and set off on this project just like I did in my earlier ventures.”

Kindi faces another challenge – of filming documentaries – in his Tracing Our Ancestors project. 

“We need proper videographers. So far, we have managed on our own with our small cameras. That is why we will be doing this project in stages. Time is also an issue because we have our full time jobs,” he said.

Kindi’s plans for the future include setting up an association or institute to teach the youth about Oman’s history and heritage. 

 

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