Muscat – To celebrate the 51st National Day, 51 people rode donkeys in a symbolic 22km journey from the wilayat of Ibra to Al Qabel in North Sharqiyah on November 27.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Fahr al Farsi, head of media of a group called Generations Team that organised the event, said, “Men and women from different governorates participated. It took a day to complete the 22km journey.”
Participants camped in Ibra a day before embarking on the journey. “They set off at 7am from Ibra to Mudharib Souq in the wilayat of al Qabel. The journey retraced the footsteps of our grandparents who travelled from Ibra to Al Qabel. While some participants walked, others rode donkeys,” Farsi said.
“Besides the event’s main objective of celebrating the 51st National Day, it also aimed to rekindle the spirit of exploration of our ancestors, while spreading the culture of preserving the environment, promoting archaeological sites, and inculcating the habit of physical fitness among people,” said Farsi.
He informed that each member of Generations Team was assigned a special responsibility for the event, led by Salem al Balushi, assisted by Traq al Hajri and he himself involved in planning and mapping.
“The team plans well before embarking on any trip. The route and site of the activity is chosen after much deliberation and research. An advance team is also sent to study the place and the weather conditions. We are also careful when deciding the number of people in any particular trip,” Farsi added.
The programme on November 27 included activities such as fencing with sticks and reciting poems – Aazi. Donkeys carried supplies needed during the event, while all participants carried safety equipment.
Participants were briefed on several tourist sites along the route, traditional markets and Omani customs in practice in the villages and markets they visited.
“Participants recalled the struggles and sufferings of their forefathers who traversed difficult terrain, fighting harsh weather conditions as they travelled,” Farsi said, adding that the team will continue to organise similar events in the future.