OMAN – OMAN – سلطنة عمان

Najsrecniji-The happiest

Najsrecniji-The happiest

Najveca dzamija u zemlji - Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Najveca dzamija u zemlji – Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Najveca dzamija u zemlji-Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Najveca dzamija u zemlji-Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Napustena zemljana zgrada-An abandoned mud house

Napustena zemljana zgrada-An abandoned mud house

Opera u Muskatu-Royal Opera House in Muscat

Opera u Muskatu-Royal Opera House in Muscat

Pogled na Muskat - A view of Muscat

Pogled na Muskat – A view of Muscat

Pogled na Muskat-A view of Muscat

Pogled na Muskat-A view of Muscat

Ras Al Had Castle

Ras Al Had Castle

Riblja pijaca u Sinau-Fish market in Sinaw

Riblja pijaca u Sinau-Fish market in Sinaw

Setaliste kraj mora-Seaside promenade

Setaliste kraj mora-Seaside promenade

Stocna pijaca u Nizvi-Cattle market in Nizwa

Stocna pijaca u Nizvi-Cattle market in Nizwa

Sultanova jahta i tradicionalni jedrenjak-The Sultan's yacht and a traditional dhow

Sultanova jahta i tradicionalni jedrenjak-The Sultan’s yacht and a traditional dhow

Sultanova palata-Al Alam Royal Palace

Sultanova palata-Al Alam Royal Palace

Ulaz u arapsku pijacu-The Souq entrance

Ulaz u arapsku pijacu-The Souq entrance

Zamak-Dzabrin-Jabreen Castle

Zamak-Dzabrin-Jabreen Castle

Bahla Fort

Bahla Fort

Bait Al-Rudaida

Bait Al-Rudaida

Citadel of Nizwa

Citadel of Nizwa

Deo tradicionalne nosnje-Part of traditional clothes

Deo tradicionalne nosnje-Part of traditional clothes

Dolina Vadi Sab-Wadi Shab valley

Dolina Vadi Sab-Wadi Shab valley

Drvo tamjana i kamila-A frankincense tree and a camel

Drvo tamjana i kamila-A frankincense tree and a camel

Jedrenjak u tradicionalnom stilu-A traditional dhow

Jedrenjak u tradicionalnom stilu-A traditional dhow

Kako se nekad zivelo-The way they used to live

Kako se nekad zivelo-The way they used to live

Mirani Fort

Mirani Fort

Na pescanim dinama-On the sand dunes

Na pescanim dinama-On the sand dunes

Na vasaru u glavnom gradu-The big fair in the capital

Na vasaru u glavnom gradu-The big fair in the capital

Beduinka-A Bedouin woman

Beduinka-A Bedouin woman

Grobnica proroka Jova pored Salale-Prophet Job's tomb near Salalah

Grobnica proroka Jova pored Salale-Prophet Job’s tomb near Salalah

Sultan je veliki. To je prva pomisao u trenutku kada se ugledaju mermerne palate i široki putevi ove zemlje, koja je samo do pre pola veka bila beduinska teritorija sa desetak kilometara puta. Vladar ove zemlje, sultan Kabus, uveo je zemlju iz feudalnog uređenja u novi, moderni vek. Veliki je ljubitelj klasične muzike pa je zato, što je retkost u arapskom svetu, sagradio impozantnu zgradu Opere i osnovao filharmonijski orkestar. Često ga povede na put svojom velikom, ali neupadljivom jahtom prefinjenih linija, na kojoj se omiljenom monarhu sviraju poznate arije.
Kao jedan od dva zvanična sultanata u svetu – Brunei je drugi – Oman je savršena ravnoteža tradicionalnog i modernog arapskog sveta, mesto u kome se, verujem, svako oseća onako kako želi, sa malom primesom opuštenog načina života u kome su Arapi nekada uživali. Tako se oseća i moj prijatelj i školski drug Dimitrije Ponomarev koji već nekoliko godina ovde živi, radi kao lekar i prihvata Oman kao svoj drugi dom.
Kao, uostalom, većina zemalja, i Oman je često spoj raznolikosti: od prepunih pijaca do totalne pustinje na severu zemlje, ka Saudijskoj Arabiji, koja se naziva Empty Corner, od vašara i pijace goveda do modernih tržnih centara i prefinjenih hotela.
Okruženje u kome se nalazi glavni grad Muskat podseća na mesečev pejzaž, kao i veći deo zemlje. Kroz njega vode tri autoputa koji presecaju kamena brda bez vegetacije, oko kojih su smeštena naselja sa niskim belim zgradama, koja se često uvlače između tih brda. Nazivaju se wadi ili doline, mada najviše liče na glečere koji se polako šire i ispunjavaju svaki slobodan prostor. To izgleda romantično pri zalasku sunca, kada zraci naizmenično obasjavaju delove grada i kada se sve spoji u arabesku orijentalnog kolorita, koji kulminira na ogromnoj kupoli džamije Sultan Qaboos.
Brojne tvrđave koje se nalaze duž obala ove zemlje, od Persijskog zaliva do Indijskog okeana, predstavljaju odbrambena utvrđenja koja su Omanci, kao i portugalski osvajači, gradili na svojim putovanjima duž ovih predela. Oman je vladao delom istočne obale Afrike, kao i Balučistanom u Pakistanu. Isto arapsko plemstvo povezuje Oman i Zanzibar, između kojih su, u davna vremena, krstarili jedrenjaci (dhows) posebnog oblika, karakterističnog za taj deo sveta.
To je zemlja u kojoj priču o Jovu podjednako poštuju i hrišćani i muslimani, zemlja sa najboljim kamiljim ćevapom, zemlja gde iz suvog pustinjskog drveća ističe smola koja se pretvara u tamjan, a kada tom drvetu čak i pevate, ona, kažu, izlazi još više. Arheološko nalazište Sumhuram na krajnjem jugozapadu zemlje bilo je utvrđenje legendarne kraljice od Sabe, odakle se tamjan još tada prevozio brodovima i pustinjskim karavanima ka onima koji su upijali taj čudesni miris. Drvo tamjana raste samo na tom mestu, u pustinji blizu Salale, rodnog sultanovog mesta i drugog grada po važnosti u ovoj zemlji. Trećeg i nema. U njemu je tropska klima, ali svežija od vrele pustinjske, uspeva južno voće i ljudi su još srdačniji. Ovo je zemlji blagostanja u kojoj su svi ljubazni i prijatni, vole i poštuju svog sultana Kabusa koji im je, svojom mudrom politikom, sve to omogućio.
Bila je to mala priča o velikom sultanatu na krajnjem jugu saudijskog poluostrva, koji je pomalo zaboravljen u davnoj prošlosti i koji se ni malo ne opire tom zaboravu.
Naprotiv, kao da uživa u njemu.

Februar 2005.
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The Sultan is great. This is the first thought that comes to mind when you spot the marble palaces and wide roads in this country, which until a century ago was a Bedouin territory with only around 10km of built road. The ruler of this country, Sultan Qaboos, brought the country from the feudal system into the modern era. He is a big fan of classical music, so he built an imposing Opera house and founded a philharmonic orchestra, which is a rarity in an Arab country. On many occasions he takes the orchestra on his trips, in a big, elegant but inconspicuous yacht; there the beloved monarch can enjoy listening to the famous arias.
The Sultanate of Oman is one of the two official sultanates in the world, Oman and Brunei. Oman presents a perfect equilibrium of the traditional and modern Arab world, a place where everyone can be themselves, with a small hint of a mellow everyday life as enjoyed by the Arabs in the past. That is pretty much how my school friend Dimitrije Ponomarev feels, as he has been living here and working as a doctor for a few years, accepting Oman as his second home.
Like most other countries, Oman is a blend of opposites: from the overcrowded markets to the completely empty space of the desert in the North, called the Empty Corner, close to Saudi Arabia; from fairs and goat markets to glamorous shopping centres and hotels.
The capital city of Muscat reminds me of lunar landscape as it is almost totally treeless and is reached by a snake-like winding motorway. It cuts through reddish gravel hills around which settlements with low white stone buildings are interspersed. They are called wadi or valleys, even though they remind me of glaciers slowly spreading into the space and gradually occupying any remaining empty space. At sunset this lends a romantic picture, when the sunrays light up various parts of the city and when everything merges into an arabesque of Oriental colours, culminating in the domes of the Sultan Qaboos Mosque.
The numerous fortresses to be found along the shores of this country, namely from the Gulf of Arabia to the Indian Ocean, are actually old Portuguese forts, built by these ancient conquerors on their journeys to the East Coast of Africa, especially Zanzibar and Goa. Oman ruled parts of East Africa as well as Baluchistan in Pakistan. The same Arab nobility links Oman and Zanzibar and in the olden days they communicated by sailing dhows, a vessel shaped in a particular way, characteristic of this part of the world.
This is the country in which both Muslims and Christians respect the story of Job, the country with the best camel meat kebab, the country where dry desert trees give off resin which is turned into frankincense, and when you sing to that tree, they say, it gives even more resin. The archaeological site of Sumhuram in the far South-West of the country used to be a fort belonging to the legendary Queen of Sheba; even in those days frankincense was transported in ships and desert caravans to those who wanted to absorb its magical scent. The frankincense tree grows only in that spot, in the desert near Salalah, the birthplace of the Sultan and the second most important city of Oman. There is no third most important place. The city has a tropical climate but is fresher than the scorching desert climate; tropical fruits grow here and people are even more kind than elsewhere. This is an affluent country where everyone is kind and amenable and everyone loves and respects Sultan Qaboos who made it all possible for them through his wise political moves.
This was a small story about a big sultanate at the very South of the Arabian Peninsula, a little forgotten in the past, but not resisting living in oblivion.
On the contrary, it seems to be enjoying it.

February 2005

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