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» AAHT Visit to Zanzibar Museum

Asian African Heritage Trust (AAHT) Team visits Zanzibar Museums in October 2013

Dr. Amina Ameir Issa, the Director-General of Zanzibar Museums, received the Team at her Headquarters at the Palace Museum. The AAHT briefed Dr. Amina Issa on the AAHT, its 2000-2005 Exhibition, and the on-going reinstallation. In particular, Dr. Amina Issa was briefed on the AAHT exhibits of the Dhow and the Mombasa Old Town Street display. These parallel the Zanzibar Museums’ display in the Beit-el-Ajaib Museum of a large Mtepe and of a Zanzibar Stone Town narrow street. Dr. Amina Issa welcomed the AAHT team with the renowned Zanzibari warmth and hospitality. She outlined the museums establishment on the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, and the scope of the above two principal museums, and reiterated that Zanzibar Museums were happy to assist NMK and AAHT.

The Team was taken on an extended tour of the galleries and exhibits at the Palace Museum and the Beit-el-Ajaib Museum. Highlights were the detailed and extremely valuable discussions with the curators on the techniques used in the construction, presentation and textual display of the Mtepe and the Stone Town narrow street, and the opportunity for their particular study.

The AAHT/NMK Team also met extensively with Dr. Abdul Sheriff, the well-known historian and author, himself a former Director-General of the Zanzibar Museums. Discussions on the presentation of the Dhow (in Nairobi), on Indian Ocean perspectives, and on research and textual matters were of the greatest value.

The Team also met with Dr. Prof. Erich F. Meffert, architect, conservationist and author, and also examined conservation issues at the restored Ithna-Asheri Dispensary building.