Shahari, Jibbali in Oman

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Shahari, Jibbali
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Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Shahari, Jibbali
Country: Oman
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 54,000
World Population: 94,000
Primary Language: Shehri
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Arab, Arabian
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Speakers of the Shehri language reside in Dhofar (or Zufar) governate in extreme southwest Oman, on the border with Yemen. It is a somewhat mountainous area, and has Salalah as its capital city. Historically, this area was the largest producer of frankincense in the world.

Dhofar is the home area of several tribal peoples speaking a variety of South Arabian languages, and the Shehri, or Jeballi, language is one of those. The people are said to be increasingly bilingual in Dhofari Arabic, and the Shehari language is marked as threatened by the Ethnologue.

The Shehri language is spoken by the Qara, Shahra, Barahama, Bait Ash-Shaik, and (some) Batahira, tribes.

The province of Dhofar can seem like a world away from the rest of Oman. Separated from pretty much everywhere else in the country by a thousand kilometers of stony desert, the region's history and identity have always been largely separate from that of the rest of the Sultanate. In antiquity, Dhofar boasted one of Arabia's oldest and most cosmopolitan cultures. The region was only finally brought under the control of the sultans of Muscat in the mid-nineteenth century.

The history of Dhofar is quite separate from that of the rest of the country, looking west towards neighboring Yemen rather than north towards the Omani heartlands.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In Dhofar, endless white-sand beaches line the coast, while coconut and banana palms replace the ubiquitous date trees of the north and neat little pastel-painted houses are found. During the summer when the rains of the southeast monsoon brush along the coast around Salalah, the area turns to a fecund riot of misty green which has no equivalent anywhere else in the Arabian peninsula.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Shahari and associated tribes are Muslim, but retain a few traditional, animistic beliefs. There are no reported Christians among these tribes.

Prayer Points

* Please pray for the youth of these tribes to be able to make needed adjustments to a rapidly changing world.
* Please pray for Gospel radio broadcasts to become available in Dhofari Arabic.
* Pray the Lord will give a growing desire to know and follow Jesus Christ to all the tribes of Dhofar. Pray for workers to have access to this land so that this hunger can be satisfied.

Text Source:   Joshua Project