Historic island in Tanzania, a legacy of Iranians in Africa, on the verge of destruction

2021-04-04 21:38:22
Historic island in Tanzania, a legacy of Iranians in Africa, on the verge of destruction

Kilwa Kisiwani, a community off the coast of Tanzania in eastern Africa that was ruled by Iranians in the 11th century, is on the verge of destruction.

The island, located on the Indian Ocean, was sold to Ali bin Hasan, son of the ruler of Shiraz, in the 11th century.

He married the daughter of the local African king and he later came to power, when formed a fortified the city with international trade.

One of the highlights of the historical structure of the island is the Great Mosque of Kilwa, which was founded in the 10th century and is one of the earliest surviving mosques on the Swahili Coast.

However, the mosque and other historical and ancient monuments are being ruined due to ocean waves, humidity, and agricultural activities and grazing livestock in the surrounding areas, according to Morteza Rezvanfar, a member of Iran’s Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism.

Although the island was inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1981, its preservation is being neglected, he added.

The island can be reached by bus from Dar es Salaam and then by coastal aviation. However, visiting ancient ruins need a permit, which can be easily obtained from the local government.

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