Sea Arabs, Oman, Qatar and Zanzibar

I rewrote this post from three family letters, written in 2010 from Dubai, 2011 from Doha and 2012 from Zanzibar. People think about Arabs as a desert people, riding camels, “The ships of the desert” as I was taught in school, across waves of sand.  But in my travels I learned that Arabs were also master seafarers taking their dhows all around and across the Indian Ocean, carrying trade goods, culture and Islam to East Africa, India, Malaya and Indonesia just as the ships of the desert carried the same across Arabia and North Africa.  Along the coast of the … Continue reading Sea Arabs, Oman, Qatar and Zanzibar


May 2, 2012 Zanzibar airport Waiting for a plane that is way too late. Dear Friends, Four thirty in the morning and my mobile phone is ringing.  I am tangled up in the mosquito net protecting me from malaria.  Worse yet, not only the phone, but my glasses and the light switch are on the other side of the net.  The phone stops ringing just as I get to it. The display shows a Stillwater, Minnesota number.  When we finally connect it is an old lady trying to call her brother in California.  She forgot California was in a different … Continue reading Zanzibar