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Between 1978 and 1994 I lived and worked with the Harasiis tribe in the Jiddat-il-Harasiis. Between 1981 and 1984 I led a United Nations Development Programme project to deliver government services to the remote and marginal Harasiis tribe without forcing the people to settle. In collaboration with the Ministries of Health, Education and Social Affairs and Labour and with the assistance of two Peace Corps volunteers, David Fenner and Elizabeth Mitchell, I carried out an anthropological study of the Harasiis between 1981-2. In 1982-3 I began to implement a series of programmes to deliver health, education, welfare and veterinary services to these people. I also called on the expertise of a weaving specialist in 1982, Gigi Crocker, to ascertain whether it might be possible to promote a small income-generating project based on Harasiis women’s weaving and twinning skills. In 1994, as I was preparing to leave Oman for residence in the United Kingdom, I invited a National Geographic photographer, James Stanfield, to accompany me on a visit to some of my key Harasiis families. Most of the images on this website are my own, but I have also been able to include some taken by David Fenner, Elizabeth Mitchell, Gigi Crocker and James Stanfield.

I have organized a few of these images into two slide shows: one records the changes which have taken place in Harasiis culture and society between 1980 and 2000; the other records some of the activities behind the scenes with my research assistants, accompanying doctors and midwives, and their families as well as medical students from Sultan Qabos University who, for a few years, were able to do their 7th year rotations at the Haima Hospital in the middle of the Jiddat il-Harasiis.

Very little has been written about the Harasiis. I have made available on this website a number of my own publications for those of you who are encouraged to learn more about the Harasiis than these visual images can convey.

This digital archive of images has been supported by a number of colleagues. David Baker and Carl Wenczek from the Oxford University Computing Services gave generously of their time in developing a plan of work to create this archive. The Oxford Department of International Development (QEH) supported this project through a grant to provide for the assistance of Jaanika Vider, Shama El-Salahi and Miranda Mylne in slide cleaning, image colour correcting and inserting of metadata and key words. David Coderey of Max Communications organized the scanning of images for this project. Chris West and Artur Konstanczak, at Fry and David Little developed and designed the website. John Pilbeam at the Refugee Studies Centre (QEH) managed the development of the website.

Dr Dawn Chatty, Professor Dawn Chatty, University Professor in Anthropology and Forced Migration and Director, Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford

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