Bahla, The Wilayat of Bahla is one of the oldest and most famous Omani cities, which is known for its ancient heritage that dates back to ancient historic periods. It contains many historic landmarks that emphasize the depth of the Omani civilisation and embodies the life in its details and features where the ancient neighborhoods with their well-established buildings and traditional architecture blended with Omani architecture, characterized by simplicity of construction and in line with traditional architecture.

Among the old neighborhoods in the Wilayat of Bahla is Harat (neighborhood) Al Nadwa. It is located in the center of the wilayat on the west side of the famous historic Bahla Castle. It is believed that this neighborhood was known in ancient times under the name of Badwa, as mentioned in some of the manuscripts of Waqf of Harat Al Nadwa, and Al Abla Mosque, one of which dates back to the 20th of Rabie Al-Awal in 1361 AH.

Researcher Zakaria bin Amir al-Himimi, from Bahla said “Harat Al Nadwa is composed of 70 houses built of clay according to the old Omani architectural style, which is simple and far from the decorations. There are seven entrances for Harat Al Nadwa known as “Sabbahat” (mornings). These entrances have large wooden doors that close at night or at times when there is no security. Falaj Al Maitha passes by the side of Harat Al Nadwa to the south, used by residents to bring fresh water”.

He added that Harat Al Nadwa has a public Majlis that is located in its southwestern part. It is a place where people meet to discuss matters of interest to them. It is also used in times of different occasions, such as weddings or funerals.

There is a well inside this neighborhood that is used to provide fresh water, in addition to a furnace that is used by the people in the festive occasions and has special Awqaf as stated in one of the manuscripts.

Harat Al Nadwa was a major center of the textile industry in the wilaya as the people of the Harat Al Nadwa were famous for the textile industry through the spinning of yarn and wool. They produced a number of pieces of local clothing and textiles, such as “Alezar”. There were About 40 textile machines in Al Arasa area inside Harat Al Nadwa to produce the finest textiles.

Researcher al-Himimi explained that one of the most important figures in Harat Al Nadwa was the Omani poet Khalfan bin Salim al-Mu’adi who had several poems in praise of Sultan Faisal bin Turki al-Said, the Sultan of Oman during that period.

Harat Al Nadwa was also known for being taken by a number of teachers of the traditional Quran schools as a place to stay there, including Sulaiman bin Nasser al-Mahrouqi, who was born in this neighborhood and spent part of his life before moving to Al Ram neighborhood. There were some scholars in Sharia who lived in Harat Al Nadwa like Khalifa al-Shukaily who was specialised in the provisions of inheritance and has worked for some times as an Imam for Bahla Mosque (market mosque).

The public library of Bahla is located in Harat Al Nadwa. It is currently one of the largest public libraries in the Sultanate. It was founded in 1996 in a small room in Harat Al Nadwa. It was then moved to its current headquarters in Al Mustagfar area. The library won the first place in Sultan Qaboos Voluntary Work Award in 2012.

Source: Oman News Agency