Jabal al-Akhdar, Oman

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The highest and best-watered region in the western Hajar Mountains of Oman.

About ninety-five miles southwest of Muscat, the highest peak of the Jabal al-Akhdar ("green mountain" in Arabic) region is Jabal Shams, which rises to nearly 10,000 feet. The region received its name from the relatively abundant vegetation found on its slopes and valleys. Because it receives up to twenty-eight inches of rain per year, and portions of it have suitable soil in its valleys, plateaus, and man-made terraces, a variety of agricultural products can be grown in Jabal al-Akhdar, including wheat, legumes, and a variety of fruits such as grapes, pomegranates, and peaches. Irrigation is provided by the falaj system, an ancient technique using channels to direct water from sources underground to crops some distance away. The main region of habitation is the Sayq plateau. The seaward side of Jabal al-Akhdar faces the Gulf of Oman, and the main towns are alRustaq, al-Awabi, and Nakhl. On the interior-facing slopes lie Nizwa, Manah, and Izki. Jabal al-Akhdar is part of the once nearly inaccessible area of Oman proper to which Muslim minority groups such as the Ibadi sect fled as a result of conflicts in Arabia during the late seventh and early eighth centuries c.e. After converting much of the local population, Ibadi imams rose to power in 751 c.e., and Jabal alAkhdar remained a stronghold of the Ibadi imamate until 1959.

see also oman.


Allen, Calvin H., Jr. Oman: The Modernization of the Sultanate. Boulder, CO: Westview Press; London: Croom Helm, 1987.

Held, Colbert C. Middle East Patterns: Places, Peoples, and Politics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989.

anthony b. toth