HvW1938e2

RAF Aerial photo Muscat 1938 taken from the land side

!
RAF Aerial photo Muscat 1938

Aerial photo of Muscat taken from the land side.

Aerial photo taken by members of the British RAF 211 squadron based in Iraq around 1938. The RAF 211 squadron was formed in 1918 and disbanded in 1919. It was reformed in 1937 and posted in the Middle East in 1938.  Photo size 20,3 by 15,2 cm 

 

Muscat around 1900

In 1900 S.M. Zwemer (ref 1 ) writes about Muscat:  "The town is cut off from the plain behind by a substantially built wall that stretches from hill to hill. This wall is pierced with two gates which are always guarded and closed a couple of hours after sunset. The moat outside the wall is dry. Beyond the houses and hundreds of mat huts principally in habited by Beluchis and NegroesThe American mission house (where Zwemer worked) is also outside the wall in this quarter . About a third of a mile beyond are the gardens of Muscat and the wells, protected by a tower and guard.

 

Von Oppenheim Ref 4 page 328 writes in 1900 about the Beluchi and a small community of Jews in Mutrah: "Von der gegenuberliegenden Kuste des Golfs sind Belutschen und Persen eingewandert. Die ersten , an zahl einige Tausend, teils Arbeiter und Diener, teils soldaten, fallen durch ihre hohe, kraftige Gestalt auf. Ihre behausungen und deren Nachbarschaft zeichen sich im gegensatz zu den Arabischen Vierteln durch einen sehr geringen Grad von sauberkeid aus. Die Perser, hochstens 200, sind waffenschmiede, Kramer oder handwerker, besonders weber von seidenstoffen, die nach den stadten des Golfs, nach Sudarabien und Zanzibar exportiert werden" Von Oppenheim Ref 4 page 329 writes on the Luwatija in Mattrah: "Von Muhammedanischen Indern sind zwei Klassen vorhanden Choga (In Maskat Luwaija genannt) und die verachteten Gatt (In Maskat Jutts oder Zatoots genannt); wahrend die ersteren in Maskat und dem benachbarten Matrah, woselbst sie einem besonderen durch Mauern umgeben Stadtteil eng zusammen wohnen, in einer Starke von etwa 1000 Personen vertreten sind, durften die letzteren hochstens 150 bis 200 zahlen. In Matrah lebt ferner eine kleine Kolonie von Juden , die angeblich im Beginne dieses Jahrhunderts aus Bardad eingewanert ist" For an 1998 aerial photo of the Lawatiyah quarters see ref 2 photo 50.

 

Wellsted 1836 (Ref 5) writes about the Jews in Oman: "In 1828 Jews were forcibly driven out of Baghdad (see Wellsted p 21) by the cruel Pacha Daud. A group of these Jewish fugitives came to Muscat and many of these were involved in the making of silver ornaments. In this period Oman was very tolerant to the Jews (and people of other religions as well) and they did not have to live in a secluded part of town neither did they have to wear a batch indicating they were a Jew like was done in Syria and Egypt in the 1820´s"

 

The Jews in Muttrah that Oppenheim refers to in 1900 are probably descendants of the Jews that Wellsted spoke about. Von Oppenheim writes on page 330 that most of the trade is from Muttrah and that it is in the hands of the Indian community. Also that they are active in the pawn business with arms being taken in as pledge / security for loans.

 

References
  1. Cradle of Islam by S.M Zwemer the  : New York 1900
  2. Historical Muscat An illustrated Guide and Gazetteer by J.E. Peterson published by Brilll Leiden 2007 photo 69, 70
  3. Muscat gate Museum, memoirs of history p 88 situation 1900; page 32-33 Showing the location of the different population groups living in Muscat  
  4. Vom Mittelmeer zum Perzischen Golf band II by Max von Oppenheim  page 329   Large photo of  situation 1898
  5. Travels in Arabia by Wellsted 1838 John Murray page 21