There were several ways to  be awoken here in the village, back in the old days. Sometimes it was the birds that would do it, chirping away, swooping in to feed from the date palms before the farmers began their work. Other times it was the day's first call to prayer, the haunting refrain ringing from the local mosque. Article by Ben Groundwater of Traveller

For Abdul Rahman Al-abri, however, there was a third way to wake up, and it was the best. "It was the smell," he recalls now, wandering through the narrow, crumbling streets of his former home. "Baking bread, that my family was making. That was my favourite way to wake up."

You can't smell bread anymore in Misfat Al Abriyyan. The date palms remain, grown on the same land they've been grown for centuries; the birds still chirp in the mornings, and you can still hear the call to prayer, though these days it comes from a mosque in the new village across the valley. The smell of baking bread, however, is largely a thing of the past. 

"Only three families still live here," Abdul explains, leading me out of the warren of old streets and into the date plantation, where we can see the twinkling lights of the new village laid out before us at dusk. "We all moved to this new place," he says. "And there was nothing to do with our old houses. We just left them."

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