notes and photos - Hajj Eid at KSI Nawi Masjid, Stone Town, Zanzibar,
Jan 21, 2005 6:23 pm
This morning (Friday) I got up at 7 a.m. and got ready. I put
on my white kanzoo over my white trousers. I do not have a zanzibari
the hotel before walking to masjid
I walked to the new-mosque opposite the Hamam Baths built by the
Zanzibar sultan in 1880. I got there at 8.15 a.m. for 8.30 start.
The hajj Eid proceedings started with a khutba (sermon) in Kiswahili,
followed by congregational prayer. There were about seven rows
of males standing shoulder to shoulder and so the mosque was almost
full up. Their arrangement is that for Ramazan Eid the prayers
are at the Old-Mosque in Kiponda suburb of the Stone Town.
for Eid prayers to start
hands with each person in a line and stand at the end. It became
a huge circle.
have got to know a few people and so they greeted me warmly.
On my way back, a few people in the narrow streets would say salamun
alaikum to me as they took me for a local zanzibari person - I
was wearing my white kanzu. It felt good to have their acceptance
as a local.
the midday Jumma prayers, I did not put on my kanzoo. The Jumma
prayer was robust with a khutba (sermon) in kiswahili about the
noor of the prophet and Imam Ali's wisdom. After the prayers,
in a circular formation each person shook hands with each other
ending in a round circle. Then, it was bhiriyani in the imambara
(lecture hall) upstairs.
being cooked on the ground level, to be raised to upper floor
through the gap at top left
is cooked with charcoal both below and on the top
trays freshly washed and drying, soon to be laid out in the main
is very strong; said to me he eats fresh Zanzibari food and so
he has a very strong back
up by an old fashioned wynch
rice and bhiriyani served into "siniya" (large metal
plates) for the people in the hall
really feels like Hajj Eid in this atmosphere
Zanzibari friend Amin Seewji talks to the man sitting next to
me while I take the photo
man at a desk was taking donations towards the day's bhiriyani.
Any amount you want to donate. I paid 2,000 T shillings, about
one Pound or two dollars, appears to be the average amount people
went to the back of the ground floor. There were three "dhegg"
(Large metal pots) with woof fire underneath and charcoal on top
of the metal covers. Two were rice, one was the bhiriyani sauce.
I took photos of each of the three pots being raised by chain
pulley and large wynch with a manual handle. There were many lead
"sinya" (large metal plates) washed and drying. Food
was served on these sinya brought in to people sitting on a long
sheet of cloth on floor. People were sitting in twos and threes.
I sat with my friend, an EAcircle participant, Amin Seewji and
a young man from the patisserie on the main tourist street in
Shangani. I looked for a spoon but almost all people were eating
in the traditional way, pulling a portion of rice to their side
of the sinya and eating with fingers.
was such a lovely atmosphere. Then I sat outside on the ledge
alongside the front of the building. Chatted, gave money to kids
doing Eid Collection. Walked back and had an afternoon nap after
the heavy bhiriyani.
of the shops were closed as were the Post Office and banks. People
and children were walking around wearing new clothes and shoes,
jovial, visiting family and friends.