Dagger display as Oman showcases ancient craft in Saudi Souq Okaz festival

Daggers were carried by Omanis for centuries as a manly symbol. (SPA)
Updated 05 July 2018
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Dagger display as Oman showcases ancient craft in Saudi Souq Okaz festival

  • The Omani dagger is a national symbol of Oman featured on its flag, alongside two swords. Daggers were carried by Omanis for centuries as a manly symbol

JEDDAH: Oman highlighted its heritage with a display of its most important ancient crafts to visitors to Souq Okaz market.

Omani artisans and folklore groups displayed the special silverware and daggers. Daggers at the market vary in price between SR1,000 and SR10,000. 

The Omani dagger is a national symbol of Oman featured on its flag, alongside two swords. Daggers were carried by Omanis for centuries as a manly symbol.

Hamyar bin Hamad Al-Omari of the Oman Craft Industry Association, listed the various types of Omani dagger such as the Suri, the Saidi, the Batani, the Sahili and the Nazwani.

“Saidi” daggers are the preserve of the Omani Royal Family, and are noted for their fine traditional engraving.

The “Suri” dagger symbolizes Sur in the eastern region. It is a small, lightweight dagger with a gold-plated handle. The lower section is made of leather and decorated with wire and silver threads and gold embroidery.

The “Nizwani” dagger, related to the province of Nizwa is carefully decorated on the silver plate that covers the bottom of the scabbard of the dagger and it is made of wood. The handle is similar to the “Saidi” dagger. It was traditionally made of ivory and covered by silver. The finest dagger makers and goldsmiths fashion these daggers, which are regarded as masterpieces.

In addition, there are “Batini” and “Sahili” daggers.

The dagger’s main parts are: The handle, the ferrule at the base, the spine, the blade and the tip. The dagger accessories are: Belt, stud, the belt buckles, rings and belt holder.

The dagger usually consists of 10 to 13 pieces that vary according to the type of dagger and the state that symbolizes it. Accessories for the Omani dagger are: The burnt, pincher and knife.

Souq Okaz is a unique tourism destination in Taif, and is considered one of the most important in the Kingdom.

This year’s edition, which will end on July 13, was opened under the patronage of King Salman, with Egypt the honorary guest.

Many tourists from around the world visit the souq, which has provided a unique historical and artistic forum gathering intellectuals and people interested in literature and culture.

The souq represents an important chapter in the history of the Arabs before Islam. It was more than a trade fair, serving as a cultural, social, economic and political gathering of Arabs.


Saudi Arabia’s KSRelief chief meets UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen

Updated 46 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s KSRelief chief meets UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen

JEDDAH: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), met on Saturday with Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, at the center’s headquarters in Riyadh.
They discussed means of cooperating and providing support to the mechanism of humanitarian and relief work in Yemen.
They also reviewed operations taking place on the ground, as well as subjects of common interest.
Al-Rabeeah showcased the humanitarian assistance provided by KSRelief in Yemen, and the 321 projects it has implemented there so far.
Topics discussed included the $500 million grant from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to the UN “to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people in 2018,” he said.
“We also examined the mechanism ensuring that humanitarian assistance reaches all Yemenis without exception,” he added.
“The meeting looked into ways to avoid Houthi violations when it comes to humanitarian aid, especially those related to the looting of aid provided by the World Food Programme (WFP),” Al-Rabeeah said, adding that they discussed “our strategic partnership” in 2019 and alleviating the famine in Yemen.
Grande said the meeting was of great importance, adding: “It discussed the famine in Yemen, possible solutions, and how to provide rapid assistance to the Yemeni people.”
She said: “The Kingdom’s contribution through KSRelief is crucial. The center provided us with tips on how to put an end to the famine in Yemen.”
She added: “We have to help Yemeni families so they can have a proper source of income. We seek to develop the work environment to facilitate the task for humanitarian workers.”
Grande stressed the importance of addressing all violations, and expressed her happiness at Yemeni officials agreeing to allow the WFP to use a fingerprint system to identify beneficiaries.