a film by Friedrich Klütsch 
Editor: Claus Strigel

Beit al Ajaib is speaking to us:

"I am a house, a house on Zanzibar. I used to be a palace.
My rooms are now empty. Only their size recalls the splendor of days gone by - when I was known as the 'House of Wonders'.
Let me speak as if I were still a 'House of Wonders' — speak of my builders; of the guests who filled my rooms with life. Follow me in their footsteps and see what's left of them - of their world and their accomplishments.


What it's about:

 A House of Wonders is a German-Omani coproduction investigating the historical relations between Oman and East Africa while taking the arrival of the European colonial powers into account. Narrated by the Beit al Ajaib as a material witness to this relationship, the films follow the biographies of three pivotal characters covering a span of 150 years.
Local experts as well as international scholars contribute to a multi-perspective approach seeking to bridge the rift that resulted in fractured identities on all sides.

Episode 1: A Trader’s Empire
Sayyid Said bin Sultan
Episode 2: The Age of Caravans
Tippu Tip
Episode 3: The Voice of Mombasa 
 Mubarak Al Hinawy

as well
a 100 minutes cinema version:
A House of Wonders

Editor's note:

It took more than two years to complete the editing and computer genereated scenes of this opus.
We had the unique opportunity to tell the story with great CGI effort from the point of view of the Beit al Ajaib palace. For me, this project was the perfection of the idea of adding a third dimension to the dramaturgical narrative: the temporally linear timeline is supplemented by a spatial narrative dramaturgy. Here, completely new possibilities of cinematic narration emerge: The story is told looking through the doors and windows of the palace, inside the exhibits and even in the underground of the building.
The house itself tells its chequered story, the story of the many exchanges between Oman and East Africa.

↓Cast & Crew↓

a deMAX production

Head Department

Nizwa Magazine Seif Nasser Al Rahbi
 deMAX Munich Friedrich Klütsch 
 Advisory Committee
HE Mohammed Al Balushi, HE Dr. Mohammed Al Mamari, Dr. Abdullah Al Kindi, Shafia Al Maskari, Abdullah Al Riyami, Ali Hamud Al Mahrouqi, Salim Al Busaidi, Khalid Al Hadary, Khalid Al Salami

Erik Schimschar, Ralf Jakubski, Alexander Helff 
 Editor & Postsupervising
Claus Strigel
Music Composer
Wolfgang Neumann 
Holger Neuhäuser, Tobias Kramer, Felix Comploi, Emil Puls
Erik Wittbusch 

Production & Script
Juma Al Maskari, Joachim Puls,
Michael Dickinson,
 Georg Popp 


Amina Al Rasul
Ahmed Al Kalbani
Ismail Al Shukaili,   
 Hilal Al Hilali
 Issa Al Nabhani 
 Vash Singh
 Gordon van der Spuy
 Tsahamano Sebe 

Set Department

Jan Hoffmann, Malaika Roenneckendorf, Dr. Birgit Mershen Sound
Michael Vetter, Jesus Casquete
Set & Props
Tom Gubb, Dennis Duis,
Adrian Kottisch
 LiDAR Scan
Zamani Project, UCT
Graphic Design Barbara Wolff