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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mud Village, Firq, Oman...



Whilst flaneuring (as one does) around some residential neighbourhoods in and around Nizwa, I came across an abandoned village completely consistent of rows upon blocks of two floor, assumedly residential, mud houses. They seem to have been abandoned for a while, as much of the debris surrounding these, now mostly collapsed and fragmented, buildings showed decades worth of wear & tear. However, what was still standing retained its own kind of gentle and sparingly sublime presence. These types of building can be found scattered most residential neighbourhoods in Nizwa, but usually only as singles or in pairs. Their narrow and shaded passages held their own intimate charm, which in scale and proportion were clearly laid out for the benefit of ambulatory users rather than the more substantial, and somewhat crude, demands of motorized vehicles. In their dishelved state, the few blocks of the village become perhaps even more evocative and catalytic than they would be if pristine. As ruins the buildings leave room for the imagination to, literarily, fill the gaps. Here 'what ifs' abound. A collapsed roof becomes an eloquent pergola, a protruding beam turns into a (dust?!) diving board, a shaded cranny assumes the form of a cozy nook. The mud walls of the place engage a more intimate, perhaps even domestic, sensory paradigm, where the width of the passages separating the buildings is narrow enough to allow one to run ones fingers simultaneously across both of the flanking walls, catch an olfactory whiff (guided to you by these same walls) from the nearby date-palm plantation, and, even from a distance, apprehend the muffled, steel-framed, clatter of a bicyclist making his way across the adjacent gravel paved road...

The village captures and reflects some of the timeless qualities which remain essential in all typologies of building, regardless of age, style, culture, function, or status...























4 comments:

ynotoman said...

You probably would also like Izki's old quarters

Thomas said...

Thanks...

I'll try to check it out in the near future...

Tom

Laith said...

And also Bahala...there is a swathe of half deserted half lived in residential honeycomb. Great photos.

Aisha Hamed said...

Hello, I really like those pictures you took . I wonder if it is ok with you if I use them in my short video assignment .
please let me know if it is not ok.