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A narrative of the visit of His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar to Europe in 1875
An-Nahlah Press, London 1879 - 92 pp, with several illustrations. FIRST EDITION. An interesting travel account of the journey of Sultan Barghash of Zanzibar to Europe. In 1875 Sir John Kirk brought the Sultan an official invitation to visit Britain, and the two arrived in London in June of the same year where he was received by the Royal Family. There he visited the horse races at Ascot, the opera and the theatre, and travelled to towns across England including Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester where he visited factories and was shown examples of new technology, such as lifts, which he incorporated into his new palace, the Beit el Ajaib (House of Wonders) constructed in Zanzibar in the 1870’s. The Sultan and his entourage were dressed in traditional Omani Arab clothing, with turbans, long cloaks, and khanjars (daggers), embedding this image of Eastern splendour, elegance and exoticism in the public mind, where he became not only fashionable but also popular. After four weeks of intensive sightseeing and entertainment, Barghash and his party returned to Zanzibar via Paris and Marseilles, arriving home in September. The Sultan’s trip was meticulously recorded by Barghash’s secretary and companion Zahir bin Said, and sent to his friend in London the Syrian journalist and publisher John Louis Sabunji, and at the Sultans request based on Zahir’s notes and contemporary English and French newspaper accounts, Sabunji compiled a comprehensive Arabic account of the Sultan’s visit. Sabunji subsequently printed the travel account in 1879 under the title Tanzih al-absar wal-afkar fi rihlat Sultan Zanjabar (‘The Recreation of the Sight and Mind; A Narrative of the Visit of His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar’). It is a detailed account, illustrated with many drawings of the persons whom Barghash met and of the sites of interest that he visited. Sabunji was the publisher of the popular Arabic language magazine in London called The Bee or An-Nahlah and held close ties with the Sultan of Zanzibar and other political figures in the Arab World. Barghash helped finance An-Nahlah and in exchange for funds Sabunji not only praised Barghash excessively in An-Nahla, but the Sultan also employed him. This is reflected, firstly by this travel account that Sabunji compiled, and secondly, by the translations that Sabunji made for Barghash of British reports and letters discussing the abolition of the slave trade in Zanzibar in 1873. Extremely Rare, OCLC lists only two copies. No copies recorded at auction. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: EQTNA (Rare Books & Manuscripts)]
Last Found On: 2018-02-14           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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