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Beit al-Zubair - house, which became a museum

23.12.2014 5:00 PM views: 2865 CULTURE Pavel V. Gusterin
Pavel V. Gusterin Center for Asia and the Middle East of The Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) Download PDF file

   Museum "Beit al-Zubair" is located in Matrah, the satellite city of Muscat, the capital of Sultanate of Oman. Having opened its doors for visitors in 1998, thanks to its rich collections museum soon became popular among foreign tourists seeking to plunge into the exotic of Arab East.

   The museum is private and belongs to the family of al-Zubair, the founder of which Sheikh al-Zubair bin Ali (1871-1956) served as a minister and counselor for three Omani sultans. The idea of founding the museum belongs to his son Muhammad.

   The museum complex is located in four separate buildings with garden, demonstrating traditional way of life of Omanis. Which is also shown by samples of housing and residential buildings of rural people. House, where is the main exhibition, was built in 1914 and bears the features of traditional Omani architecture.

   Omanis were once known in the Arab world and beyond it as skilled navigators. Not everyone knows that according to the legend, Omani city Sohar - the birthplace of the hero of fairy tales Sinbad the Sailor, who became the collective image of the brave Arab travelers. Therefore, no wonder that there is a sample of typical Omani ship in the patio of "Beit al-Zubair" - the Dow - which served as a means of fishing and which was used for long voyages by merchants. Thanks to their courage and seafaring skills Omanis visited India and China, and in Africa the dynasty of Omani sultans Aal Busaidi, ruling today, owed island Zanzibar in XVIII-XIX centuries, thus Omanis could control part of the coast of the "Dark Continent". The capital of all the Omani state was in Zanzibar for some time.

   "Beit al-Zubair" can be classified as historical and ethnographic sight, as the demonstration of household items is accompanied by comments on the path taken by the Omani society for centuries. If the collection of national clothes from different regions of Oman, complemented by the collection of jewelry that attracts attention primarily of the female part of the visitors due to the variety of female models, male half stay especially long near the exhibits from the collection of historical weapons, both cold and fire. The collection of cold weapons includes "Jumbiya" daggers, which are an element of the national costume. The same dagger is depicted on the national flag and emblem of Oman. In addition, in the museum you can get the detailed information on the Omani architecture through the models of historical castles exhibited in the museum.


Keywords Oman, Beit al-Zubair, museum