Craft fairs mark Omani Craftsmen Day

Muscat – To mark Omani Artisans Day, celebrated on March 3, the Authority for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASMED) organized two handicraft exhibitions in northern Sharqiyah and Dhahirah.

An ASMED official informed that the authority is organizing a three-day handicraft exhibition at Sharqiyah University in Ibra, north of Sharqiyah from February 22. products and the weaving industry.

Omani Artisan Day activities in North Sharqiyah include a photo contest and exhibition, an Omani folklore showcase, a craft workshop and a short video contest showcasing Omani crafts.

The other handicraft exhibition was held at the Ibri Center in the wilayat of Ibri, Dhahirah, also on February 22.

According to Salim bin Ali al Farsi, deputy director of ASMED in Dhahirah, 20 artisans participated in the exhibition, which included woven products, wood and leather products, pottery, incense, silverware, daggers and palm leaf objects.

“The celebration of Omani Artisans Day highlights the importance of consolidating initiatives that support the national handicrafts sector in improving incomes, in addition to the role of handicrafts in providing useful products of use daily,” Farsi said.

Speaking to Muscat Daily, Juma al Battashi, an artisan, said, “These events are very important to showcase Omani crafts, shed light on artisans and their products, and promote handicraft industries in the sultanate. The exhibits are also successful in raising community awareness of the role of cottage industries in preserving Oman’s cultural traditions and heritage.

Said al Abri, another craftsman, said: “I have been making boats with palm leaves for more than 20 years. My parents and grandparents were also artisans. These exhibitions promote and support our products. I hope the young people will carry on and preserve the unique Omani traditions.

He urged all artisans to participate in such exhibitions to promote their products and also benefit from the experience of other artisans.

According to the latest data, there were more than 24,000 artisans in the sultanate at the end of 2020, of which more than 88% were women.

The number of artisans in Dhofar Governorate 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).

James C. Tibbs