Yemeni Dagger er, oops, Made in China

KhanjarThese are traditional Omani knives offered for sale at the souk at Muttrah, near Muscat, Oman.

The knife, called a khanjar, is worn on a kind of belt over a man's dishdasha. The Omani Ministry of Information explains, "The shape of the khanjar is always the same and is
characterised by the curve of the blade and by the
near right- angle bend of the sheath. Sheaths may
vary from simple covers to ornate silver or
gold-decorated pieces of great beauty and

"Khanjars are worn on formal occasions and at
feasts and holidays, and almost all Omani men
boast one.

"Once worn in self-defence, the khanjar is today
both a fashion accessory and a prestige item much
in demand."

The Yemeni equivalent is called the jambiya. Yemen Post quotes a famous sheik as saying, "To this day a number of people would rather die than be seen in public without their Jambiyas."

But now Global Post has a nice photo essay and a dismaying story revealing that nowadays at the old souk in Sanaa, a large number of those jambiyas are
actually "Chinese-made imitations — plastic approximations of the
elegant, hand-carved originals — and they're selling like hotcakes."

See more Oman photos in the Oman Gallery at Photo from

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Knives in Oman? What Knives?

Behold the new logo for “Brand Oman,” some four years in the making according to The Muscatis.

Someone from Digital Oman went to the presentation and explains, “looking at the brand from right to left, the first colour, dawn purple,
represents the dhow; Musandum aquamarine green is inspired by Oman’s
rich marine environment and the turtle in particular; sky blue is taken
from the silhouettes of the mountains; and the Salalah green is the
essence of frankincense.”

I’d add that the nice, cool blue and green colors reflect on the summertime temperatures in Muscat about as aptly as the name Greenland fits with its glaciers. Not a single ray of yellow or red sun suggested in the new logo.

The traditional Omani curved knife, called a Khanjar (picture), which every merchant in every shop all across the land wants you to take home, is so ubiquitous that, as the Muscatis points out, it’s odd that it wasn’t worked in somehow.

 The Muscatis ascribes it to political correctness: “the government is conciously
distancing away from the khanjar as a national symbol because it is a
weapon since we are living in a ‘sensitive’ world.”

See more photos from Oman in the Oman Gallery on

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