Kadara Swaleh: Islam Contributed to Developing the Swahili Language Greatly
Dr. Kadara Swaleh, Research Fellow at Leibniz-Zentrum spoke during a virtual lecture entitled "Cultural Heritage and Social Development of Muslim Communities in East Africa", organised by The World Muslim Communities Council (TWMCC) .
Dr. Swaleh said that "Islam reached Kenya and Tanzania through Yemeni merchants through the Indian Ocean", noting that the spread of Islam in East Africa was considered a historical event in that region, as many Muslims in East Africa speak Arabic because they learned the Holy Quran in schools.
He explained that Muslims in East Africa enjoy freedom of belief and wear Islamic dress; adding that Arabic food is widely spread in East Africa due to the influence of the Muslim community.
In a related context, Dr. Swaleh affirmed that Islam contributed to the development of the Swahili language greatly, as Muslims introduced many Arabic words into the Swahili language, such as "Twenties, Thirties, Forties, and Fifties".
He added that currently, there is peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims in East Africa and friendships have developed among them.
TWMCC is an international non-governmental organisation, and a think tank to help organisations and associations working in Muslim communities, renew their thinking, improve their performance, and coordinate their joint work.