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.


Riyadh, Beirut stress need to confront Islamic extremism

Updated 20 June 2019
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Riyadh, Beirut stress need to confront Islamic extremism

  • Saudi-Lebanese Parliamentary Friendship Committee reaffirms the importance of restoring peace and harmony among all Arab countries

BEIRUT: A delegation from the Saudi Shoura Council, headed by Saleh bin Manea Al-Khalewi, began an official visit to Lebanon on Tuesday, meeting President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

It is the first visit of the council to Lebanon, to convene the first meeting of the Saudi-Lebanese Parliamentary Friendship Committee, headed by Tammam Salam.

Aoun praised “the fraternal relations between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia,” and reaffirmed “the paramount importance of restoring peace and harmony among all Arab countries, for the benefit of all,” wishing to establish “peace on solid foundations based on the principle of respect for the vital interests of every country.”

He underlined that political differences should not allow deviation from the principles of the Arab League charter, and hailed Saudi Arabia’s recent decision to lift the ban on its citizens traveling to Lebanon in time for the summer season, hoping that the “Kingdom witnesses further success and growth.

“Lebanon is more than ready to cooperate in all areas to achieve this end, especially in the presence of an important Lebanese community in the Kingdom that contributed to its prosperity,” he added.

Al-Khalewi underscored the “historic relations between the two countries and the two brotherly peoples,” emphasizing the importance of the ongoing support provided by the Kingdom to Lebanon. He also praised Aoun’s keenness to build Arab solidarity and consensus.

The committee discussed means of developing cooperation in legislative sectors in the two countries, serving the goal of greater Arab solidarity. Delegates agreed on the need for stability and peace in Arab countries, and the need to confront Islamic extremism leading to domestic and international acts of terrorism.