About the course

Programme fees: £1100

This five-day course in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, will explore the history of East African Ismaili Muslims from the 19th century to the present day. East African Ismailis migrated from the Indian subcontinent to the East African coast via steamship and dhows, from the coast to inland via railroad and caravan, and from settled, prosperous life to cities worldwide via air. Participants will have a unique opportunity to learn about their lived experiences through different perspectives, in particular architecture and cultural heritage. Deeply connected with the experience of the community is its relationship to its local Jamatkhanas; participants will examine how the form and function of the Jamatkhana have been shaped by the community and its changing needs, and the aspirations of the Ismaili Imams. Being a field-based course, participants will also engage in stimulating discussions on East African Ismaili life to examine how key events and transformations in the region shaped the opportunities and challenges faced by the community. Field trips to heritage sites and Jamatkhanas, presentations and discussions will provide key learning experiences for participants to deepen their understanding of the issues of migration, modernity, and identity shaping the East African Ismaili experience.

Aliaa Remtilla

Dr Aliaa Remtilla is an anthropologist and filmmaker who received her MA and PhD in
Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester. Originally trained as a filmmaker at Harvard University, Aliaa is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of StoryTiling, a platform that uses anthropological science to help people capture and share their family’s life experiences through video stories and video messages. Through her work at the IIS and Simon Fraser University, Aliaa has examined the confluence of
religion, economics and politics and conducted research in over 20 countries, including
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Portugal, Tajikistan and Tanzania.