Embassies Participation (Bazaar) – Muscat Festival (Qurum Park)

If you are reading this from within the vicinity of Muscat, I hope you’ve had the chance to enjoy Muscat Festival by now.  This evening (Mon., Jan. 30th) will be the 5th day of its running.  Anyone who knows me will guess that I’ve already taken a million pics of the festival by now and that is true, but there is something I wanted to share with you as soon as possible before this gem of an event finishes up at Muscat Festival in the next few days.

This area is located on the left side of Qurum Park’s “lake” as you walk from the direction of the main entrance.  Until Thursday (some said Friday?!?), embassy staff from several of the embassies here in the Sultanate of Oman are providing information and food from each of the respective embassies.  Did you hear what I said?! Free authentic dishes from several embassies!  In many cases, you also have an excellent opportunity to meet and greet ambassadors and embassy staff from Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries stationed here in Oman.  A lot of fun!  If you time it right, they occasionally even have live cultural entertainment on the small stage there.

These gentlemen are from the Islamic Republic of Iran and are at the first table on your immediate right as you enter the “embassy participation” area.  They have artifacts and posters from some of the more popular locations of Iran.  It was great talking with Mohammed (on the right) about my wonderful experience in Iran in 2005.  Don’t listen to all the hype out there.  Iranian people are some of the warmest people I’ve ever met.  If you make it here, don’t hesitate to chat these guys up.  They love it!

This Iranian chef with a giant smile is Hamed and he hails from Isfahan.  He was generously serving up a famous soup from Isfahan known as “Ash soup” (with lentils and noodles). This soup alone is worth the trip!  My wife and I made a great team.  I would chat up the embassy staff and take pics.  They would then offer up one of their traditional dishes, and my wife would gladly sample the food, haha! 🙂

This Pakistani Mouton Biryani was a big hit at the festival!

Dr. Fatih and friend offer up warm greetings at the stall for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.  Dr. Fatih was extremely gracious and offered me free pamphlets, tourguide info and even a DVD with info on Jordan when chatting with him.  I love Jordan and the Jordanian people.  I still have fond memories of my visit there in 1997-1998.  I couldn’t agree more with the Lonely Planet’s report on Jordan as “One of the most open, friendly and welcoming nations in the Middle East, Jordan is an example to other states in the region of how to modernise while preserving cherished ancient traditions.” (Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Countries for 2012)

This is Ibtisam from Sudan who is ready and able to answer any questions you may have about Sudan.  Everyone was more than happy to have their photo taken, but as a common courtesy it’s always good to ask, right?  🙂

Wario has been with the Kenyan Embassy in Oman for only 3 months now.  Nice chatting with him.  Great guy!

Wario with Yabesh Monari, “Chargés d’affairesfor the Embassy of the Republic of Kenya in Muscat.

Tanzania and Zanzibar– a colorful and complicated history that is connected to the past glory days of Oman.  So much to learn!

People from the Algerian Embassy

This last pic is of two Yemeni gentlemen.  I only got the chance to talk with  Akrim Mohammed who is on the right in the pic.  That’s an interesting khanjar he’s wearing there but actually in Yemen it’s known as the Jambiya.

If you are in Muscat and want to visit some fascinating countries, try new food and learn about different cultures, art and traditions without the hassle of visas and hotel arrangements, head down to Muscat Festival in the next few days!  🙂  A great learning opportunity for anyone!


15 responses to “Embassies Participation (Bazaar) – Muscat Festival (Qurum Park)

  1. Hi Andy,
    Is it at Qurum Park? i was there on the opening day and had to rush as the story had to be filed.
    Am planning to go today

  2. Kabeer,
    Yes, Qurum Park! I should definitely have mentioned that in the post! I’ll add it to the post so it’s crystal clear to people. Thanks! Hope you have a blast! 🙂

  3. Fantastic! I haven’t been there yet but hoping to go once I’m done with finals. Love the photos!

    Btw, this is Noora and I moved to wordpress.
    Thanks for giving me a kick back to blogging, Andy! 🙂

    • Noora,
      HELLO there! Nice to know you’ve made the move to wordpress! Congrats! 🙂 I noticed your new blog is just sitting there waiting for you to write at http://www.burzatun.wordpress.com Looking forward to seeing some posts soon. You’ve got tons of great blogging material already on your facebook page. Good luck on your finals!

  4. Oh man, you’ve done it again 😦 . Missing home like crazy .I think I’ll do a post of Muscat festival memories. Might help.

  5. Hi Andy,

    Thank you for your post and nice photos. I’ll definitely go there. and also thanks for the compliment on Iran and Iranian (obviously I’m Iranian ;).
    I want to ask something which has no relation to this post at all 🙂 .I’m looking for English course in muscat which are focused on speaking skill or even a free discussion class and Of course it would be great if you teach such courses.


    • Behrad,
      Thanks for commenting. No need to thank me for my observations about the Iranian character. It comes from a month of uncountable experiences of Iranian hospitality firsthand while in your country.
      About a speaking English course in Muscat – I’m sure there are many. Berlitz has a good reputation worldwide. You might want to look into it. (Berlitz Language Center, Qurum, Qurum Heights, Way No 2419, Villa No. 1455, P.O.Box 945, Postal Code 116 Tel: +968 24 566293/213 Fax: +968 24 566291 Email: berlitz1@omantel.net.om Director: Mr Tamer Elsayed Email: telsayed@berlitz-oman.com I’m not sure how old this info is though) Thanks for saying that it’d be great if I taught such a course but I’ve got my plate full this coming semester! Kind regards! 🙂

  6. hi andy hope you are well and your family…i know that there is so many activities …i was wandering I you have any idea about any acadmical activities …of any kind mainly science ….thank you

  7. Julnar,
    How’s it going? Good to see your comment here. The family is doing very well by the grace of God, thanks for asking. As you mentioned, there are SO many activities at Muscat Festival. There are plenty of “academic activities” and “science” depending on what you mean by science. There are computer science related activities in e-Oman stationed at Muscat Festival. Hints of mechanical and agricultural engineering as well as ecology, hydrology, botany, soil biology and metallurgy can be seen on displays of ancient methods of farming and village life. Behavioural Sciences can also be explored in how the individual works as part of the community in the Sultanate. So you see, science is everywhere at the Muscat Festival! 🙂

  8. those would be endangered species dead baby crocs, rhinos (horns), cobras then?

    • saddened,
      Yes, they would be. If you are that upset by the display of these endangered animals, you can always bring it up with the (northern) Sudanese embassy.

  9. Pingback: International Exhibition at Muscat Festival 2013 (Part 1 of 3) | Andy in Oman

  10. I need a table to sell on how I do that

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