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History & Heritage


Oman: a lost village reemerges from the desert

In a valley, some 400 km southwest of Muscat, the small hamlet of Wadi al-Murr had been almost entirely engulfed by the desert sands. But that was without counting on a handful of locals who had come to rediscover and explore the place.

Of the village of Wadi al-Murr, only a few visible remains remained. Here a stone wall, there a piece of wood, everywhere sand. Although there is still an architectural testimony of the human presence in this small Omani hamlet, nature has officially taken back its rights there, about thirty years ago, when the repeated assaults of the sand finally got the better of Wadi al-Murr.

The scientific community readily attributes this phenomenon to climate change and emphasizes the fact that it is neither unique nor trivial. Powerless in the face of such forces, the population had no choice but to exile itself to the cities, safer territories for mankind wishing to free itself from its condition of dependence on nature.

Credits : AFP

People left but didn’t give up

It was without counting on the irreducible. Between the trekkers, lovers of hiking in the desert, the nostalgic who seek to reconnect with their native village, and simple visitors eager for curiosity, the village is now regaining activity. Because what nature takes, she can also give back. Today, thanks to the movement of sand and dunes, some elements of the village, such as the mosque, have reappeared. A godsend for all the aforementioned diehards, who are not afraid to come and visit this village curiosity, which could soon be on the menu of the unmissable for anyone who practices tourism in Oman.

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Published on 12 January 2021