With a population of 36 million people, Tanzania used to be a concentration country for Western colonialists from where they shipped inland people as slaves to Western countries. Tanzania is still underdeveloped and its economy is based on farming and livestock breeding. The people are very poor and have low living standards. They are members of 120 tribes and are mainly concentrated in mountainous areas. With a along coastline that stretches along the Indian Ocean, Tanzania is one of the biggest fishing countries in Africa. Fish is a staple in Tanzania and is consumed three times a day. Corn slurry and rice are also widely consumed.
Islam and Christianity have roughly equal number of adherents and together they make up two third of the Tanzanian population. Muslims lack opportunities and funds to create and advance educational, instructional and religious projects mostly because of financial difficulties and lack of support. Muslim schools and mosques are dilapidated and lack funding. Zanzibar is an autonomous island within Tanzania and Muslims form 98 percent of its population. The number of schools where Muslim families can send their children to and mosques for communal prayers is very limited in Zanzibar. The IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation is working to meet the need. It built a complex, containing a school and a mosque.
The school is named after IHH volunteer Faruk Aktaş, who was killed in a plane crash in Afghanistan while working for an orphanage project. The school will be teaching 150 students and the 10-month curriculum will include Arabic, English and computer courses as well.
State Minister Ali Juma Shamhuna also attended the opening ceremony for the complex opened in Mazaurui neighborhood of Zanzibar. Speaking during the ceremony Shamhuna pointed to the significance of education in development of a country.
“The school named after Faruk Aktaş, who died in a plane crash in Afghanistan, will offer Arabic and English courses and has a computer laboratory as well. We believe that our children will be receiving quality education here. I thank the IHH representatives on behalf of the Zanzibar people,” he said.
Recalling aid efforts of the IHH in the region, the minister said: “Friendly and brotherly nation Turkey is helping us. We as people of Zanzibar are sending prayers and greetings.”