Zanzibari Fever

The shores of Zanzibar

Where do I start? Blue skies, turquoise crystal clear ocean, fresh air, towering palm trees and friendly people speaking in Swahili- honestly I could go on. Zanzibar is one of the hidden treasures in our world and I truly hope it stays that way.

I absolutely fell in love with the island- gorgeous untouched nature to say the least. So what took me to Zanzibar you must be thinking? Well my trip was primarily driven by my Omani best friend Aisha Al Kharusi. This dynamic young woman is very philanthropic in nature, so much so that I eventually caught her bug.

Residents of Bweju

Aisha Al Kharusi and I with women of the village

Aisha has been supporting this tiny school called Madrasat Sirajatul Khairia in the village of Bweju and as the creator of the school -Mr Rajab-needed to build a proper building and facility for the kids of Bweju, I decided to take it on as part of my philanthropic journey. The Al Gurg Group fully endorsed the idea and voila- I headed to Zanzibar to check out the village of Bweju.

The owner was ecstatic to say the least and the kids were adorable. Sadly as you can see from the photos they sit on the ground to study and their premises are small and tight. In fact they did not have enough space for classes past Grade 4 and so the kids would go back to the previous grade once they had completed Grade 4. It was clear to everyone that they were in dire need of proper premises and facilities.

The new school under construction

Local workers construct the extension

The Al Gurg  Group took it upon themselves to plan and build a school and library that accommodates 300 children from Grade 1-7 and the project will be complete in the second half of 2010. I look forward to inaugurating it and seeing its school curriculum taken forward.

The final design

11 Responses to “Zanzibari Fever”

  1. Saad says:

    Brilliant work!! Congratulations…

  2. Shaima says:

    Hello Muna,
    This is fantastic, i went to Zanzibar last Summer and I absolutely LOVED it, have you been to Forodhani. My parents were brought up in zanzibar and kenya, so naturally we speak swahili too. if i can be of any help, please let me know:)
    Keep it up

  3. Luma Bashmi says:

    How wonderful. I’ve never been but it’s now definitely on my list of places to go. What a great initiative – congratulations!

  4. Aisha says:

    Thank you Muna for posting the blog on Zanzibar. Ideally, Shaima we always will need a helping hand whether big or small as the school is currently run by a group of volunteers. We are trying to arrange a sustainable way of having the teachers paid. One way could be having an agreement with the Ministry of Education to provide the teachers and the other is reaching out to appropriate foundations which we are looking into. We are also very grateful to Muna and her father for funding to build the new infrastructure. I personally got to see the development stage and hopefully the school will be ready sometime in the next 6 months.

    Regarding Zanzibar I couldn’t agree more its like entering an ancient theater and we all have our own roles and character to play 🙂 The beaches are breathtaking and one of the top best beaches in the world according to Conde Nast Traveller. If you want to party up north is the ideal location and if you want to take it easy there are many quite resorts and cottages dotted on the coast of the island (East and South).

    My love to Zanzibar is eternal and for the children of this paradise island it is our resposiblity as citizen of the world to help nourish the future.

    Thanx again Muna — you are a star!!!

  5. Nanya says:

    Wow- clicked this from your twitter and glad I did. Its very inspiring to see young people doing things- a lot of us have ideas and desires but its truly inspiring to see people take their passions and do something for other people (and very rewarding- Im sure the kids are inspired too and who knows what great things they will go on to do).
    I haven’t been to Zanzibar but now its definitely on the list of places to visit. Great job!

  6. ABADHAR says:

    thanks ms muna for help us and all society of Bwejuu village

  7. PK Gulati says:

    Muna, exceptional work. There is so much to do in educating the next generation that such inspiring efforts should be highlighted to get more to get involved -like Aisha was able to get you involved.. There is a small initiative that i am doing with a few friends from Google on getting a sustainable teachers’ training program going – so that we can create teachers who are ready, willing and available in the local community.

    Kudos on your work!! Keep us posted…

  8. Ravi Bansal says:

    Wow this is wonderful. It is very inspiring work and I know alot of Duke students would probably like to get involved, if it is alright could I send this article their way?

  9. Reem HZ says:

    It is so nice to see good things being driven by good intentions. What a way to touch people and leave your print on humanity. Makes me tingle thinking good still exists and that it is possible to make a change! God bless you and your family, and people that think like you.

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