Monday, May 25, 2015

The Truth About Zanzibar by Aman Thani Fairuz

NEWS: Aman Thani Fairuz has passed away a few weeks ago. (1927-2016) in Dubai. His story lives on. We salute his life and recognise the suffering he endured. He survived through the torture inflicted by the regime and escaped to tell the tale. History can now record what happened. 

For many years this book was almost unavailable. The original date of authorship was 1995. It was passed between people as a word document and parts of it were spoken about. Now, fifty years after the Zanzibar Revolution / Invasion, it is available on Amazon. with thanks to the translator, Ali Muhsin Barwani.

Anyone interested in the history of Zanzibar should read it. For Aman Thani Fairuz was there during the years of political wrangling and then during the dark years of suffering under President Abeid Karume. Maybe we should not dwell on those years, maybe we should be looking ahead, but the trouble is the truth of those years is hardly known, hardly acknowledged.

There have been few stories published about them. Luckily for historians Aman Thani Fairuz was a man with an amazing memory and a determined nature. He survived the prisons and the torture and came out determined to tell the story of those that did not survive.

This is how the author speaks in the Preface:

"My gratitude to the Most Merciful God who has enabled me to write this little book in which have tried to describe the events which took place in our country, Zanzibar. In particular I have concentrated on what happened to me and what happened to my fellow countrymen as a result of what is called the Revolution which befell our country on 12 January 1964. What I am writing about is what I myself know. Without there is much more that I did not know. It is my hope that there will be others who will be able to relate what happened to them or what they saw was being done to others. I am doing this for no reason other that relate the truth regarding what took place in our country, so that my fellow citizens (and our Tanganyikan brethren as well as the whole world) and especially the younger generation, may know the facts regarding the so-called Revolution of Zanzibar.

 It is not an easy read, the descriptions are disturbing and distressful. But it must be told for the people that suffered need to be remembered. And most important  - Zanzibar is still trying to work out how to achieve justice and Zanzibaris should learn from the past and not from the sugared lies that are told about the achievements of the Revolution. Only with the truth can they heal the past and go forward. 

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