Intro to Dar es Salaam

Maybe it is the jetlag or the new environment. Maybe it is just me old self. Or maybe I just need time to readjust. Three days in Dar es Salaam already and I feel like I’m at home. There is a welcoming and peaceful atmosphere in this city as its name in Arabic suggests. The attitudes of its inhabitants are just as welcoming. What is most impressive about this city is its diversity and tolerance towards different peoples and their faith. Equally impressive is the diversity of the people here: Arabs, Maasai, Swahili people, other African migrants, South Asians (largely from Pakistan), East Asians (dominated by the Chinese). The most common bond between all these people is either religion or commerce.

View from the top - the coast of Tanzania. The visible island is Zanzibar.

View from the top - the coast of Tanzania. The visible island is Zanzibar.

Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam

Random sky shot

Random sky shot

Afternoon traffic jam in Dar. A motorist is angry at a blocking driver.

Afternoon traffic jam in Dar. A motorist is angry at a blocking driver.

Islam is the most practiced religion here (all along the coast for that matter) and one can see the influence of Islam very quickly throughout the city. Likewise, commerce is a strong part of this city, often dominated by non-indigenous immigrants like South/East Asians and Somalis. I’m not sure I would classify the Arab population (locally known as ‘mwarabu’ – the bantuitized word for Arab) here as ‘non-indigenous’ people since they have been here since at least the 13th century. A large population of mixed people also exist here. What I’m surprised not to see here is the European population that colonized Tanzania. However, in the interior of the country I suspect there are still a remnants of colonial descendants – mostly the large estate owners.

Perhaps everything I’ve written here is b.s. but I’m not claiming my observation to be based on academia anyway.

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Categories: East Africa, tanzania | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Intro to Dar es Salaam

  1. hmalik

    And you are painting an almost clear picture of Dar el Salaam. Good observation Om, but the pictures are very small. I can’t see the motorist angry face lol. Beautiful Pictures. I hope you arrived safely at your next destination.

    • Om

      Thanks! Sorry it took me ten days to reply…what can I do with this kind of connection:) I agree, the pics aren’t good at all…they were supposed to be able to enlarge once you click (but it is not clickable!) it.

  2. Why does Africa have such a peaceful atmosphere? Yes, Om, it would be nice to see larger versions of these pictures.

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