Al A’fiya in Sa­mail: Des­ti­na­tion for moun­tain lovers

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Sa­mail - Al A’fiya, one of the vil­lages in Wadi Bani Rawaha in the wilayat of Sa­mail, the Gov­er­norate of Dakhliyah, is lo­cated un­der a foot­path sur­rounded by moun­tains from all sides, mak­ing it an ideal des­ti­na­tion for na­ture and moun­tain-climb­ing lovers.

The vil­lage is lo­cated in the south-west of the wilayat of Sa­mail, about 25km away from its cen­tre. It was for­merly known as Al Hama, a name de­rived from the fa­mil­iar­ity with bul­lets at that time.

The vil­lage’s name was changed into Al A’fiya for its beau­ti­ful na­ture that qual­i­fied it to be the first stop for tourists in the wilayat, es­pe­cially ex­pa­tri­ates. About 400 cit­i­zens live in the vil­lage.

One of the most im­por­tant tourist at­trac­tions in the vil­lage is Wadi al A’ssi. It is a flow­ing wadi in Wadi Bani Rawaha. It forms a beau­ti­ful sight in Al Mesqah val­ley as wa­ter over­flows dur­ing rain­fall on the moun­tains sur­round­ing the vil­lage.

The flood­ing of the val­ley at­tracts many tourists to spend a day in the pic­turesque na­ture and among fruit trees over­look­ing the sides of the val­ley while the wa­ter bub­bling from the top of the moun­tains form­ing beau­ti­ful falls.

The vil­lage is sur­rounded by an old wall, par­tially de­stroyed due to cli­matic fac­tors. It con­nects three gates.

In­side it, there are a num­ber of old houses called ‘Al Hu­jrah’, which were in­hab­ited by the res­i­dents of the vil­lage, who num- bered no more than 30 cit­i­zens.

The houses were de­stroyed, but the dam­aged parts still ex­ist. The vil­lage has a tall tower.

Yousef bin Sarhan al Hashami, a res­i­dent of the vil­lage, said, “Al­though the vil­lage of Al A’fiya is in a moun­tain­ous area, it is char­ac­terised by the cul­ti­va­tion of all kinds of date palms and citrus trees. It tops other vil­lages of Wadi Bani Rawaha in the cul­ti­va­tion of le­mon, berg­amot orange and mango.

He said most of the vil­lagers are en­gaged in a num­ber of pro­fes­sions, such as rais­ing cat­tle, bee­keep­ing and har­vest­ing thyme and wild berries from the peaks of the moun­tains sur­round­ing the vil­lage. Such prod­ucts are sold in the wilayat’s mar­ket and at neigh­bour­ing mar­kets.

Al A’fiya vil­lage is linked by moun­tain roads, one of which leads to the vil­lage of Al Manakhar in the niya­bat of Jebel Akhdar, about six-hour walk through a se­ries of moun­tains.

It is also linked by a short­cut moun­tain road to the vil­lage of Hadash in Wadi Mistal, one of the vil­lages in the wilayat of Nakhal. It can be reached in four hours on foot.

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