In general, there are three times in which photos of house interiors are send out to friends, which are then sometimes forwarded on to general social media: newly-weds’ rooms, “we are ready” and “good words.”
Visiting other people’s houses is usually done between relatives and is almost always confined to the salle or majlis so sending out photos of the room prepared for newly-weds means that Dhofaris can share images of a room that normally only close relatives would see.
What I call “we are ready” photos show food that is prepared for a (birthday, graduation, promotion, received an award, special person visiting, etc.) party – this informs other people of a special event.
“Good words” images are commonly sent between friends and relatives in Dhofar. Some are images of flowers, nature (usually water or green trees/ fields), incense burners (as most Dhofaris burn frankincense (luban) in the house in the early morning and sunset), and/ or cups of Arabic coffee (qahwa). The texts can be a simple “good morning/ sabah al khair,” words of encouragement or a religious maxim.
All three types of images allow friends to see parts of the house that are usually not visible. If posted on social media, strangers can also see, but without knowing whose house it is so privacy is protected. The primary purpose is to increase bonds of friendship but these sorts of pictures can also be used to help gather design/ food preparation ideas. Home- and food-styling magazines are not common in Dhofar, so people use social media to get inspiration for their next party.
Examples of “good words”
Examples of “we are ready” photos