Heritage Hunter

06 Mar 2013
POSTED BY Y Magazine

It has taken him several years and thousands of kilometres of travel to complete what became a very personal journey.



Now everyone can follow in Tony Walsh’s footsteps without leaving the comfort of their armchairs thanks to his book, Walking Through History – Oman’s World  Heritage Sites.

Through a series of stunning photographs, some of which are printed here, he takes the reader on a colourful adventure across the Sultanate.

Among the sites he visits, often several times over the years, are Bahla Fort, one of four historic fortresses said to date back to the 13th and 14th centuries, nestled at the foot of Jebel Akhdar, and the ruins of the town of Al Balid (or Al Baleen) in southeast Salalah.

“This book has been a part of me for many years. Oman has four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but even some residents in Oman are unaware of them and it was this relative obscurity that made me want to give them a little bit more awareness,” says Walsh, who has lived in Oman and the Arabian Peninsula since 1986.

The coffee table book, which is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, was originally going to be pictures only but now includes a description and brief history of each site.

Walsh, who is director of Panorama Tours Oman, visited every site and took most of the images himself.

“In all cases I have been to the sites many times over many years, in remote ones sleeping near them so to maximise my time there.

“The photos, most of which have been taken by me, are like familiar friends

“It has been an interesting journey.”

While the book is a look at Oman’s history, it is also a record of Walsh’s love affair with the country and it’s unique charms.

He has travelled through all countries in the Arabian Peninsula and widely elsewhere in the Arab world. With his work, he has led tours and lectured in Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

He has also given lectures for university alumni associations including Harvard and Stanford Universities.

A keen photographer, he has had a wide range of written articles published both internationally and locally on Oman.

As for future trips, there is one place in Oman that Walsh has yet to visit – the remote Hallaniyat Islands in the south.


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