Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Zanzibar, Tanzania, comprises a pair of islands off the east coast of Africa called Zanzibar ('Unguja') (1994 est. pop. 800,000, 1,554 kmē) and Pemba. They are, together with Mafia Island, sometimes referred to as the Spice Islands, though this term is more commonly associated with the Maluku Islands.
The main town and economic centre is Stone Town on the actual island of Zanzibar.
Zanzibar was settled by Persian immigrants from Shiraz, and the name Zanzibar probably derives from the Persian زنگبار Zangi-bar meaning "Coast of the Blacks". However, the name could also have been derived from the Arabic Zayn Z'al Barr, meaning "Fair is this land". The island was later controlled by Portugal for a period starting in 1503.
In 1698 Zanzibar became part of the overseas holdings of Oman, falling under the control of the Sultan of Oman. On April 6, 1861, following a struggle over the accession to the position of Sultan of Oman, Zanzibar and Oman were divided into two separate principalities. Sayyid Majid bin Said Al-Busaid (1834/5-1870), son of Sayyid Said bin Sultan Al-Busaid, became Sultan of Zanzibar, while his brother Sayyid Turki bin Said Al-Busaid (1832-1888) became Sultan of Oman. During this period, the Sultan of Zanzibar also controlled a substantial portion of the east African coast, known as Zanj, including Mombasa, which was taken from Oman in 1840 and remained part of the state of Zanzibar until 1963 when it was ceded to the newly independent state of Kenya.
Zanzibar was a centre for the eastern slave trade during the 17th-19th centuries, when it was ruled by the Sultan of Oman. The British government forced the cessation of slave trading in the late 19th century under the British-controlled Omani sultan Hamoud bin Mohammed.
On December 19, 1963, Zanzibar received its independence from the United Kingdom as a constitutional monarchy under the Sultan. This state of affairs was short-lived, as the Sultan was overthrown on January 12, 1964, and on April 26 of that year Zanzibar merged with the mainland state of Tanganyika to form Tanzania, of which it remains a part to this day.
It also has its own House of Representatives (with 50 seats, directly elected by universal suffrage to serve five-year terms) to make laws especially for Zanzibar.
Sultans of Zanzibar
- Majid bin Said (1856-1870)
- Barghash bin Said (1870-1888)
- Khalifah bin Said (1888-1890)
- Ali bin Said (1890-1893)
- Hamad bin Thuwaini (1893-1896)
- Khalid bin Barghash (1896)
- Hamud bin Muhammed (1896-1902)
- Ali bin Hamud (1902-1911) (abdicated)
- Khalifa bin Harub (1911-1960)
- Abdullah bin Khalifa (1960-1963)
- Jamshid bin Abdullah (1963-1964)
- Sir Lloyd William Matthews , (1890 - 1901)
- A.S. Rogers , (1901 - 1906)
- Arthue Raikes , (1906 - 1908)
- Francis Barton , (1906 - 1913)
- Francis Pearce , (1913 - 1922)
- John Sinclair, (1922 - 1923)
- Alfred Hollis , (1923 - 1929)
- Richard Rankine , (1929 - 1937)
- John Hall , (1937 - 1940)
- Henry Pilling , (1940 - 1946)
- Vincent Glenday , 1946 - 1951)
- John Rankine, (1952 - 1954)
- Henry Potter , 1954 - 1959)
- Arthur Mooring, (1959 - 1963)
Zanzibar has a fascinating history influenced by Persians, Arabs, Muslims, the Portuguese and the African mainland. Stone Town is a place of winding lanes, circular towers, carved wooden doors, raised terraces and beautiful mosques. Important architectural features are the Livingstone house, the Guliani Bridge , and the House of Wonders , a palace constructed by Sultan Barghash in 1883.
The majority of the worlds cloves are grown in Zanzibar.
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