Zanzibar Anti Western Sentiments

Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 01:23 PM
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Zanzibar Anti Western Sentiments

Just been reading up on local news in Zanzibar ahead of my safari. Seems to be an increase of Wahhabists and anti-Western sentiment. Also noticed an increase of attacks on women who wear to short of skirts.
Do you think there is any reason to be concerned over this?
comtnboy is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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I've been to Zanzibar twice in the last year and have not encountered any anti-Western sentiments. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. That said, you must realize that 95% of the population is Muslim. Therefore, you should dress such that you don't offend the locals. In Stonetown, they recommend no shorts or skirts above the knees and no sleeveless tops. In the beach resorts, this isn't an issue as you are on the beach and swimsuits are acceptable. This is no different than being in Italy and dressing appropriately when entering a church. Zanzibar is a wonderful destination...enjoy!
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Old Aug 24th, 2005, 01:22 PM
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As ShayTay mentions, we never encountered anti-western sentiments.

And as the saying goes "when in Rome...." so proper dress would be appreciated whether in Stone Town as in any other Muslim or observant community worldwide - whether covering your head or removing your shoes. It's common sense and respectful.

Did you notice women being attacked for being dressed in abbreviated clothing?

That's strange. When we visited, even young local women were wearing western skin-tight jeans and cropped tops with belly-button rings under their "chador" type covering. If young local women aren't harrassed...... ? We didn't see any westerners not properly attired when in Stone Town.

At the beach resorts you can wear whatever you choose though topless on the beach is not permitted.
Old Aug 24th, 2005, 02:46 PM
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Perhaps there is anticipated unrest due to the upcoming elections in October.

Elections in 1995 and 2000 were marked by chaos and violence.

If traveling in Stone Town during that time I would take extra care.
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Old Aug 30th, 2005, 06:44 AM
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Thanks all. I knew about dressing properly, etc. In regards to the attacks, I did not witness them but the information was posted on a news site for the locality. Could be blow out of porportion for all I know.
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