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Oman and Zanzibar
The Zanzibar - Oman Relationship has been an important one throughout history. A comprehensive representation of that relationship would require much study, and more space than this website can provide. The following images can give us only a small glimpse of that shared history. For more information and further study please see the links below the images.
TheDhowscameinmanysizes,theirlineageistooancienttodetermine.Itwasthelarger sea-going Dhows that carried an ancient trade from Oman throughout the Indian Ocean.In Zanzibar, Dhows are said to be "older than the faith."
During the trading season Dhows came to Zanzibar in the hundreds, from Oman, Arabia and and Persia.
Most of the town participated in this import-export business in some way.
OnceZanzibarandOmanwereonedomain.In1856theirjoint-ruler,thegreatSultanSaid died.OneofhissonsthenbecametheSultanofOmanandanothersonbecameSultanof Zanzibar. The British supported and enforced this division of power.
Dhows have always connected cousins in both lands.
Overthenextcenturyandmore,theRoyalfamilyinbothOmanand Zanzibar demonstrated continuity, solidarity, and leadership.
Omanitradersandsailorsswelledthetown’spopulationduringthetradingseason. The sailors were known for spirited displays and sometimes rowdy behavior.
OvertimemanyofthesevisitorstookupamorepermanentlifeonZanzibar. They settled on farms and plantations, set up businesses, and started family life.
Both men and women migrated to Zanzibar from Oman.
In1961thelongreigningandmuchrespectedSeyyidKhalifabinHaroubbinThuweinibinSaidbin Sultan, died. Hisson,SultanAbdullah,inheritedthethroneofZanzibaratatimeofincreasingpoliticalandsocial unrest.AmidsttheColdWarstressbetweenEastandWest,theanti-colonialrebellionsthroughout Africa,andstrugglesbetweenNationalism,Tribalism,andMarxismathome,Zanzibarwas challengedlikeneverbefore.SeyyidAbdullahneverhadtimetofullydealwiththosechallenges,he died after only 2 years on the throne. Hisyoungson,JamshidthenbecameSultan.SeyyidJamshidpresidedovertheachievementof IndependenceforZanzibarfromGreatBritain.HisreignwasonlymonthsoldwhentheZanzibar Revolution swept him from power, at the end of 1963. Thus ended royalty on Zanzibar.
Sultan Abdullah bin Khalifa
Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah
Sultan’s tomb marker, Zanzibar.
Today many people in Zanzibar and in Oman are rediscovering their shared heritage.Fortunately,forthoseinterestedinthishistorytherearenowmanynewresourcesforinformationandfurtherresearch.Hereisashortlistofsomeofthebestworkthat preserves, documents and displays information about the history of Zanzibar and Oman.