Daily Archives: December 9, 2007

Sohar History through Sketches (Sohar Fort Museum)

This drawing is the earliest represention of the Sohar Fort. It appears on Lazaro Lewis’s Atlas, dated 1562. (Torre do Tombo, Lisbon).

The Princes of Hormuz constructed several other ports on the Arab and Persian coast, in addition to the one at Sohar. The drawing represents the one they constructed at Bahrain (Portuguese sketch dated 1538).

Jews in Oman?

                       Funny that this story should be in the Sohar Fort Museum! People are often surprised to hear that there are Jewish minority groups in Arab countries such as Iran and Iraq.  There was even a strong Jewish presence in neighboring Yemen before Islam appeared on the scene.  I heard something interesting about my town “Ibri” recently and looked into it…Seems that the word “Ibri” is of biblical origin (mentioned in “1 Chronicles 24:27) and so some believe that there were a group of Jews living here in the past. “Ibri” actually means “passing over” and it was for this reason that Jews (now Christians who are “spiritual Jews”) are known as “sojourners”; a people without a home; looking for a heavenly residence.

Historical Lessons within Sohar Fort Museum

                              “In the morning, Albuquerque (the Portuguese commander general) and his companions saw a large and beautiful city. Their Arab guides told them that is was called Sohar. Since the guides knew the fort to be very well-armed, they tried to dissuade the Portuguese from attacking it because in case of defeat, they had good reason to fear that the Portuguese would kill them: one of them had cannon breeches attached to his neck, ready to be dropped overboard at the least little mistake while guiding them.”

More History from Sohar Fort Museum

Sohar Fort Museum – “The Country of Magan”