Let us invite you to Zanzibar

Zanzibar -History

History

Zanzibar has long been a meeting place for the world and certainly a place where Arabia meets Africa. As one of the first to the islands of the Zanzibar archipelago, Hindus, Arabs and Persians came, doing it in the seventh century AD. They were mainly merchants doing business with the local Swahili coastal cities on the archipelago. Later, Indonesians, Malaysians and even Chinese buyers visited the area from afar to trade with Swahili Bantus. In 1498, the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama began trading with coastal cities from Europe. In 1698, Zanzibar became part of Oman’s overseas settlements. In the nineteenth century Zanzibar came under English rule to obtain independence. In December 1963, Zanzibar gained independence from Great Britain as a constitutional monarchy ruled by the sultan. However, this was very short. In early 1964, a bloody revolution broke out, which in effect led to the connection of the Tanganyika continent with the islands of Zanzibar. The 1964 revolution overthrew the Sultanate. Lots of Arabs were murdered, mutilated and imprisoned by paramilitary forces dominated by black Africans who felt deprived of civil rights and power.

There are various reasons for the revolution in Zanzibar, it is widely accepted that ethnic tensions played a role. Hundreds of years of coexistence with Arabs, South Asians and Africans have blurred ethnic differences, but during and after the revolution, ethnicity was politicized. Because of historical marginalization and racism, black Africans were generally poorer and lived in worse conditions. They were also unable to gain access to the same opportunities as their Arab or Indian counterparts. This inequality drove them to rebel against the people they considered oppressors.

 

 

Let’s  take a small stroll through the narrow streets of Stown Town 

Stone town. The ancient city – inscribed on the UNESCO cultural heritage list in 2000 – is like a maze. There are street names, but no one really uses them. Stone Town is small and safe, but you often get to your destination through the winding streets, using local directions will probably not lead you quickly to your destination. Maybe sometimes it’s just to get lost and find the details forgotten in guidebooks.

narrow streets of Zanzibar

TEMBO HOUSE HOTEL

is a unique and fascinating Zanzibar hotel located in the heart of the Stown Town, surrounded by historic buildings in a prime seafront location in the prestigious Shangani district of Stonetown on the island of Zanzibar, and offers medium-sized rooms with 38 guest rooms and access to many historical and cultural attractions. This is one of the first hotels in Zanzibar. Restored in the nineteenth century, it served many purposes. The original building really was a great structure, and many original features have survived to this day, such as a range of antique furniture, furnishings and decorations from around the world, and among them the most noticeable is the magnificent stained glass window overlooking the bay, which is one of the main attractions of Stone Town .

FREDDIE MERCURY HOUSE 

 Many tourists wouldn’t expect the Freddie Mercury birth house to be located in Africa, but indeed it’s here, on the island of Zanzibar. His parents were both Indian, and he was actually born on the African island of Zanzibar off the coast of mainland Tanzania, alternating between there and India before moving to Britain. There’s a lot of mystery around the Mercury House. The question of where Freddie actually lived while in Zanzibar does not have a definitive answer. The one that is semi-officially recognized as “The Mercury House” is a modest tourist attraction and is not open to tourists, but on his facade, there are two window displays photos of Freddie and signs honoring the singer outside the apartment building

SLAVE MARKET

We know Zanzibar as a beach paradise. Once Zanzibar was one of the largest slave ports in the extensive slave trade in the Indian Ocean, dominated by Arab slave traders. On the island and in Stown Town there are many places reminiscent of its dark history. The market, where in the dark, airless, underground chambers, slaves were locked before sale, still contains chains attached to concrete. There is also a monument there, reminding visitors and residents about the crimes committed centuries ago. Monument sunk in the ground – sculptures of live slaves, which the author – Antony Gormley – made of original chains.

SLAVE HISTORY

Slave traders got to Bagamoyo on the continent’s coast and from there to the interior of Africa, west of Congo. Traders bribed chiefs, robbed and often kidnapped to meet the high demand for slaves. Newly recruited slaves were often forced to move ivory and other goods back to Bagamoyo. From Bagamoyo slaves were sent to Zanzibar in a dhow. Sometimes the boats were so cramped that many died. Then slaves were imprisoned for several days in crowded basements with little air, no food or toilets. After a few days spent in such conditions, the slaves were led outside and ordered by size. They were tied to a tree and scourged by a stinging branch to check their strength. Those who did not cry or pass out obtained a higher price on the market.

In the context of the slave trade, the term Arab represents culture as opposed to a particular race. The Arab slave trade was established before Islam and lasted for over a thousand years. Many “Arab” slavers, such as Tippu Tip (about him in the next section) and others, were indistinguishable from the “Africans” whom they enslaved and sold. All major racial groups in Zanzibar were involved in one way or another in the slave trade. Europeans used slaves on their plantations in the islands of the Indian Ocean, Arabs were major buyers, and African rulers sold prisoners taken to battle.

The year 1822 brought the signing of the Moresby Treaty by Sultan Sayyid Said and Fairfaks, in which the sale of slaves to Christians was considered illegal. Unfortunately, these restrictions were essentially ignored and trade continued to develop. Then, in 1873, under the threat of being bombed by the British Navy, Sultan Barghash was forced to sign an edict banning the maritime slave trade, and the slave market in Zanzibar was finally closed. In its place, the construction of the Anglican cathedral began. Although slavery was officially illegal, it continued on the continent of Tanzania until the defeat of the Germans in the First World War.

Leave a Reply

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
Facebook
YouTube
Instagram