Zanzibar, Tanzania
2-5 September 2013

OIC Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), and the National Records & Archives Authority of the Sultanate of Oman, are jointly organizing, in cooperation with Zanzibar University, the International Symposium on the "History of the Islamic Civilization in Eastern Africa", in Zanzibar, Tanzania, on 3-6 September 2013.


Africa was the destination of the first Muslim migrants from Mecca to Abyssinia in Africa. From then on, Muslims immigrations extended to include the eastern coast of Africa as a point of destination. Moreover, Muslim Preachers and merchants along with the immigrants reached to Central Africa.

Along with Northern Africa, Eastern Africa was one of the places which were most largely influenced by Islamic civilization. The growth of Muslims immigrations was due to certain reasons. One reason was the geographical proximity of Eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Another one was the environment of Africa with its fertile soil, abundant water, moderate climate and considerable wealth and bounties.

Muslims settled in these regions of Africa and established Islamic dynasties and states that played active roles in local and international policy due to their strategic locations. Some of these dynasties and states are Bata, Mogadishu, Sefalah, Zanzibar and Mombasa. In addition, these dynasties and states played and still play a pioneering role in spreading Islam in that part of the world.

Symposium Objectives

The conference is aimed at highlighting various aspects of Islamic civilization in Eastern Africa and promoting the exchange of views and findings of research on the impact of Islamic civilization in the region. This will be done around the following axes:

1 - Reviewing the historical and cultural dimensions of the Islamic civilization in South Asia and East Africa.

2 - The role and influence of Arab and Muslim migrations on the convergence of the Islamic sects.

3 - The influence of Islamic civilization in the fields of architecture and traditional crafts.

4 - Acquainting with the history of Islamic civilization, in the past and present, and studying its social, economic and political consequences.

5 - Reviewing the geographical aspects that contributed to the spread of the Islamic civilization.

6 - Shedding light on various forms of the intellectual production in East Africa.

7 - The influence of the Islamic civilization on African social life (customs, traditions and daily life areas).

8 - The Arab and Islamic press, and its role in enriching cultural life in Eastern Africa.

9 - Acquainting with the reality of manuscripts, records, archives, and monuments, and identifying the means of their development.

Symposium Themes

Historical Theme

  • - The nature and availability of sources and studies on Eastern Africa.
  • - The impact of Islamic civilization in Central Africa.
  • - The role of Arabs in Islamic civilization and their trade influence in Rwanda and Burundi: Humaid Bin Muhammad Al-Mrajabi "A model".
  • - The cultural treasures and role of the civilization in Congo: Ahmad Bin Ibrahim Al-Amri "A model".
  • - Muslims migrations and their impact at internal level.
  • - The role of Omanis in fighting colonialism and promoting Islamic rule.
  • - The role of Omanis in disseminating Islam and its culture in the African mainland.
  • - The role of Muslim scholars (Ulama) in various fields of culture.
  • - The impact of Islamic civilization in Eastern Africa (commercial, economic, social, political and cultural influences).
  • - The role of Ottomans in spreading and protecting Islamic civilization in Eastern Africa.

Geographical Theme

  • - Geographical, natural and human factors and their role in the migration of Muslims to Eastern Africa.
  • - The impact of Islamic architecture on the styles of Africa architecture.

Literary and Linguistic Theme

  • - The impact of Arabic on the languages of Eastern Africa.
  • - The impact of Islam in literature.
  • - The impact of Islam on prose discourse.
  • - Arab Omani influence on Swahili culture.
  • - The emergence of Kiswahili language and its contemporary significance.
  • - The modern schools in the period of the Sultans.
  • - The image of the Islamic identity in the literature of Eastern Africa.

Social Theme

  • - Religious and social life relating to Islamic civilization in Eastern Africa.
  • - The social and economic conditions of Muslims in Eastern Africa.
  • - Channels of social communication among Muslims in Islamic countries and Eastern Africa.
  • - The components of the new Swahili society.
  • - Foundations (Waqf institutions) and their role in promoting Islamic civilization in Eastern Africa.
  • - Some aspects of social life.
  • - Rituals and traditions of Islamic civilization: religious occasions, Hijri calendar, social meeting halls (majlis), funerals, etc).
  • - Jurisprudence in East Africa.
  • - The coexistence of various sections of society in East Africa

Themes concerning the Press and Media

  • - The history of the Islamic press and printing in Eastern Africa.
  • - The trends and components of Islamic press.
  • - The image of Islamic countries in Eastern African press.
  • - The contributions of Muslim journalists in the early journalism in Eastern Africa.
  • - The role of the Islamic press in highlighting Islamic culture.
  • - The attention given to scholars, and the emergence of books and printing in Zanzibar: (Royal Printing Press: "A model" in the reign of Sultan Barghash bin Said, "1870-1 888 AD " and its cultural role).
  • - The role of associations in Eastern African society.
  • - The cultural dimensions of journalism in Zanzibar and Eastern Africa.

Theme concerning Records, Archives and Structures

  • - Historical Islamic manuscripts and documents of the archival centers and libraries in Eastern Africa.

a. The importance of archival institutions and libraries.

b. The manuscripts and historical records.

  • - The Omani historical manuscripts and records in Eastern Africa.
  • - The influence of Islamic civilization in Eastern Africa on the records, manuscripts and archives.
  • - Islamic arts and Islamic architectural heritage.
  • - Architectural arts in Eastern Africa.
  • - Religious architecture (mosques, madrasas, ribats and zawiyas).
  • - Civil and military architecture (royal palaces, forts and castles, public baths).

Conditions of participation:

The submitted research paper shall comply with the following conditions

  • - It should be authentic, innovative, and directly relevant to the symposium's themes.
  • - It should not be published or delivered on earlier occasions.
  • - The abstract of the research paper should consist of about 250 words and be submitted in Arabic or English.
  • - The papers should be sent by email.
  • - The scientific committee has the right to reject any research paper that does not meet scientific standards.
  • - The accepted research papers will be published after editing in a special booklet for the symposium events. The organizing body holds the copyrights. Before publication the papers will be subject to the applicable Publication Law in the Ministry of Information of the Sultanate of Oman.

Submission deadlines for the abstracts and the papers

Abstracts and research papers should be mailed to:   or 

  • - Deadline for submitting the abstracts: 15 March 2013.
  • - Informing of the acceptance of the abstracts: by 15 April 2013.
  • - Deadline for the submission of full papers: 26 June 2013. 

Conditions for citations

  • - The historical narrations should be cited chronologically.
  • - The references should indicate the sources.
  • - The views and interpretations introduced by the researcher should be based on historical events and evidences.
  • - The researcher should indicate the sources or the website from which graphics, maps and records were taken and used or whether they are his own work.
  • - Sources and references must be cited in the footnotes (at the end of every page) starting with number 1 in each page.
  • - Sources and references must be cited in a list at the end of the paper under the title "Sources and References" and ordered alphabetically as follow:

title, name, edition, part, publisher, city of publishing, year of publishing; any further citation information might be put in parenthesis. 

Symposium Languages

Arabic and English 

For complementary information send an email to or 


+90 259 17 42 

+968 246 16071,


+968 246 16086,