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Adam

Adam

The Wilayat of Adam is in the south of the Dakhiliyah Governorate and borders on the wilayats of Bahla, Manah and lzki to the north, Mahawt and Haima to the south, al Mudhaibi to the east and Ibri to the west. It is 234 Kilometres from the Governorate of Muscat . It has a large number of villages and bedouin settlements, as well as green oases, orchards, farms, old mosques, souqs, residential quarters and archaeological sites. Travellers bound for the Wusta Governorate and the Governorate of Dhofar stop off in Adam.  The mountain of Jabal al Midhmar to the north of Adam and Jabal Salkh to the west are among the most attractive tourist spots in the Wilayat of Adam with their trees, grassy slopes, gazelles, hares, foxes and other wild animals. In the summer months the bedouin of the Wusta Governorate migrate to the Wilayat of Adam for the date harvest and build temporary palm-frond shelters to protect themselves from the heat. At night the glow of their lamps and the distant bleating of their sheep and goats impart an inimitable charm to the scene.
Over the years the bedouin have established small settlements which they return to time and time again on their summer migrations and some have opted to set up permanent villages like San'aa, al Samiti, Majazah, Wadi Halfain, Ras al Jabal, al Ghabitah, al Hajir, al Ghaidhranah and Qam al Alam, which receive government support and now have electricity services and modern housing.

The Wilayat of Adam has always been a rest stop for trading caravans travelling to and from the Governorate of Dhofar and it has therefore been inhabited since ancient times. Stone Age sites discovered in at Hawshi district, including traces of round stone buildings, are though to be the oldest sites in the wilayat. The ruins of an old souq at al Natlah are evidence of the wilayat's commercial prosperity in former times.

There are forts and towers throughout Adam including the forts of Falaj al Ain on the northern edge of the wilayat and Falaj at Malih on its southern side. There are numerous old villages and residential quarters - some three hundred years old; their alleyways, arches and arcades create beautiful combinations of light and shade, while their walls still emanate the aromas of the past. The house where Imam Ahmed bin Said At Busaidi was born still stands with its gateway, well and chambers, and many other houses still retain their original beauty and elegance despite the passing of time. Large sections of the alleyways are roofed over with arches which support small overhead rooms known as sabatat. Possibly these were built to increase the area of living space on the upper floors. Sometimes they were used as kitchens or sitting rooms.

Adam's old residential quarters include al Jami', Harat Bani Sheeban, at Rahbah, al Rawghah, al Ain and Harat Bani Wa'il. Its numerous ancient mosques include the Harat al Jami' mosque, which was built at the end of the first half of the tenth century AH (middle of the 16th century AD) and has a fine decorated gypsum mihrab. It has been restored to its former glory. The old mosque of al Rahbah
is the wilayat's emblem.

The wilayat is fed by four qflaj - the aflaj of al Malih, al Ain, al Shari' and at Fulaij; it also has two springs - the sulphur spring of Ain Namah, as well as Ain al Rakhim - in addition to several artesian wells which irrigate extensive areas of farmland, date groves and orchards of citrus and other fruits.


Some 120 Kilometres south of the Wilayat of Adam are two salt mines - Qarat al Milh and Qarat al Kibrit. Both these areas have salt formations of great geological antiquity and - quite apart from their commercial value - are of considerable scientific importance. Table salt is cut in blocks from these mines and sold in the local markets. In the past the raw salt from Qarat al Milh provided a significant source of income for the people of the wilayat, while Qarat al Kibrit also produced sulphur which was used to treat wounds.


Traditional Occupations
Occupations and traditional industries are gold and silver working, weaving palm leaves, weaving wool, blacksmithery and making Omani sweets.