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Pangani, Tanzania

One more destination for time-travelling and history nerds: green town on the Pangani river grew massively in the 19th century but entered the stage of decline just a hundred years after, following the abolition of slave trade and end of colonial era. Crumbling in the wind, old German administrative buildings, prison facilities and once inhabited houses are now just remains of once important role of Pangani in the life of Tanzanian colony.

 

Pangani’s pleasant location on the river makes up for its modest size and sleepy rhythm of life. The Southern side of the river is occupied by betel-nut farm grounds and sisal plantations, coconut trees and tiny farm houses.

 

One name that must instantly ring the bell when you hear about Pangani is the name of Al Bashir ibn-Salim al-Harthi (repeat it several times in a row and it will definitely ring the bell), the local leader of anti-colonial resistance in the 19th century who was hanged by the Germans in Pangani town. Al Bashir, once a wealthy land owner of mixed Arab-Oromo decent, managed to unite local population in the fight against German East Africa Company and colonial rule. One entire year of resistance resulted in his eventual defeat and execution, but the voices of local independence fighters were heard.

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