Muscat – To mark Omani Craftsmen’s Day, observed on March 3, the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (ASMED) organised two handicrafts exhibitions in North Sharqiyah and Dhahirah.
An official of ASMED informed that the authority is holding a three-day handicrafts exhibition in Sharqiyah University in Ibra, North Sharqiyah from February 22. “The exhibition includes separate sections for palm frond crafts, silverware, pottery, distilling oils from indigenous plants for aromatic products and the weaving industry.”
Activities on Omani Craftsmen’s Day in North Sharqiyah include a photo competition and exhibition, presentation of Omani folklore, handicrafts workshop and a competition of short videos showcasing Omani handicrafts.
The other handicrafts exhibition was held at Ibri Centre in the wilayat of Ibri, Dhahirah, also on February 22.
According to Salim bin Ali al Farsi, assistant director of ASMED in Dhahirah, 20 craftsmen participated in the exhibition, which included woven products, wood and leather products, pottery, incense, silverware, daggers and items made of palm frond.
“The celebration of Omani Craftsmen’s Day highlights the importance of consolidating initiatives that support the national crafts sector in enhancing income, in addition to the role of handicrafts in providing useful products of everyday use,” Farsi said.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Juma al Battashi, a craftsman, said, “These events are very important to introduce Omani crafts, shed light on craftsmen and their products, and promote handicraft industries in the sultanate. The exhibitions also succeed in spreading awareness in the community of the role of the handicraft industries in preserving Oman’s cultural traditions and heritage.”
Said al Abri, another craftsman, said, “I have been making boats with palm fronds for more than 20 years. My parents and grandparents were also craftsmen. These exhibitions promote and support our products. I hope that young people continue and preserve the unique Omani traditions.”
He urged all craftsmen to participate in such exhibitions to promote their products and also gain from the experience of other artisans.
According to the latest data, there were more than 24,000 craftsmen in the sultanate at the end of 2020, of which more than 88 per cent were women.
The number of craftsmen in the Governorate of Dhofar was 7,247, followed by North Sharqiyah (5,454), North Batinah (3,534), Dakhliyah (2,148), Al Wusta (1,534), South Batinah (1,357), South Sharqiyah (1,186), Muscat (608), Dhahirah (482), Musandam (405) and Buraimi (236).