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Beit al Ajaib 1883- 2020

In the name of Allah, The Entirely and The Most Merciful.

All praise be to Allah alone. We praise Him and seek His help; we seek his forgiveness and his guidance. We seek refuge in Allah from evil intentions, our evil deeds, and all evil beings. I pray that His peace be with you today and all days to come.

We are saddened to announce that what once was known as the House of Wonders is now no longer standing. On December 25th, 2020, the famous building collapsed while maintenance that was long overdue; was taking place.

The Sultan’s Palace was built in 1883 by Sayyid Barghash; the third Sultan of Zanzibar. This building was more commonly known as Beit-al-Ajaib or the House of Wonders. It was given its name because it was the first building in the Island of Zanzibar to have electricity, and also the first building in East Africa to have an elevator. Inside were beautifully carved inscriptions from the Quran. There was so much history in the building; one of which, in front of the building once stood a light house that was destroyed during the Anglo-Zanzibar War in 1896. Also known as the shortest War in the world that lasted about 47 minutes. During the reconstruction, a piece of the tower was integrated into the facade of the building in 1897 with a clock at the top and a London Bell placed inside the heart of tower.

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Over the years, people came and went, the weather changed, the children grew, the flowers blossomed, and the streets improved, but The Sultan’s Palace remained; yet abandoned and forgotten. Turned into a museum for the tourists and a momentum for the locals, used on postcards and photographed for its uniqueness. Sad we are but reality is due to negligence the building could not bare standing another day. For the first time in years, when the hammers and the workers finally started maintaining the beautiful Beit-al-Ajaib; did it decide to tear itself down. Taking with it two souls that were stranded inside with four more who have been rescued and are now recovering quite well. Alhamdulillah.

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May their souls rest in peace those who have gone back to their Creator, as we try to clear the streets, picking up all of the broken pieces. We watch the pieces of building lay and are reminded of its need to be loved and maintained. As time passes us by, we hope we can rebuild the lost memories of Beit-al-Ajaib. Standing again will be a dream come true for this piece of history deserves the worlds’ view.

F. J. Al-salama

Covid 19

COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from person to person. They may also vary in different age groups.

Some of the more commonly reported symptoms include:

  • new or worsening cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • temperature equal to or over 38°C
  • feeling feverish
  • chills
  • fatigue or weakness
  • muscle or body aches
  • new loss of smell or taste
  • headache
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
  • feeling very unwell

Children tend to have abdominal symptoms and skin changes or rashes.

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19.

You can infect others even if you aren’t showing symptoms

The virus can be spread to others from someone who’s infected but not showing symptoms. This includes people who:

  • haven’t yet developed symptoms (pre-symptomatic)
  • never develop symptoms (asymptomatic)

This kind of spread is known to happen among those who are in close contact or are in enclosed or crowded settings.

If you’re travelling with or without symptoms, be aware of what’s expected of you when entering Canada.

Everyone Should

Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • It’s especially important to wash:
    • Before eating or preparing food
    • Before touching your face
    • After using the restroom
    • After leaving a public place
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After handling your mask
    • After changing a diaper
    • After caring for someone sick
    • After touching animals or pets
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

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Avoid close contact

  • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
  • Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who do not live in your household.
    • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
    • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
    • Keeping distance from others is especially important for people at higher risk.

Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others

  • Masks help prevent you from getting or spreading the virus.
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distances measures are difficult to maintain.
    • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.

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Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Then, use a household disinfectant. 

Monitor Your Health Daily

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
    • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

Mwanamke Mwema

Fund raising event every Last Sartuday of the Month

Zanzibar-Canadian Association (ZANCANA)

Zanzibar-Canadian Association (ZANCANA)

1752B Victoria Park Ave.
North York, ON, Canada M1R 1R4
Tel: (647)340-2005



Zanzibar-Canadian Association (ZANCANA, in short) is a community organization for people with Zanzibari origin presently living in Canada. Zanzibar is made up of two main islands (Unguja and Pemba) and several smaller ones off the coast of East Africa.

Welcome means KARIBU in the Swahili vernacular. Zanzibar is the majestic spice island of the East Africa in Indian Ocean.These are two main islands of Unguja and Pemba. Over centuries different cultures have influenced Zanzibar to become what it is today. Sumerians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Phonecians, Indians, Chinese, Persians, Portuguse, Omani Arabs, Dutch and British have settled here at one time or another and influenced the local culture into the present fusion

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