The international symposium on the “History of Islamic Civilisation in Eastern Africa” was organized by ircica, the National Records and Archive Authority of Oman and the State University of Zanzibar, and held at Zanzibar City, Zanzibar, Tanzania, on 2-4 September 2013. The opening of the congress was officiated by dr. Ali Muhammed Shein, President of Zanzibar and Chancellor of the State University of Zanzibar, and dr. Abdulmunim bin Mansour bin Said al-Hasani, Minister of Information of the Sultanate of Oman. Participants from Algeria, Burundi, Comoros, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Oman, Sweden, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, uk, Yemen and Zimbabwe presented papers. This book contains ten articles; six in Arabic and four in English.
Relations between Eastern Africa region on one hand and Western Asia and Arabia on the other intensified after the advent of Islam in Eastern Africa. Civilizational interactions increased after the first century Hijra/ 7th century ad when migrations of Arabs to cities and ports of Eastern Africa were welcomed by Muslim residents there. A considerable portion of the native populations embraced Islam. Powerful kingdoms and Islamic states were established. These states had amicable relations with the Islamic states in Asia including the Ottoman State. One of the important developments from cultural viewpoint was the migration of leading scholars from Oman to the region. The strong relations that existed between Oman and Eastern African societies already for centuries intensified further. A real turning point occurred with the transformation in the 17th century when the Yaariba Dynasty defeated the Portuguese occupying Zanzibar. The Omani Sultanate gained control in the region. But later, settlements in Eastern Africa did not manage to protect themselves from invasions led by European missionary expeditions; in the 19th century, these expeditions targeted the unity of the predominantly Muslim population. The papers in the book describe and analyze some of the cultural, educational and social aspects of life surrounding these developments.