A look at the melting pot culture of Zanzibar, an East African archipelago off the Tanzanian coast, as seen by travel writer Christopher Vourlias.
Arriving in Zanzibar by sea, the explorer David Livingstone wrote, "This is the finest place I have known in all of Africa to rest before starting my last journey."
A motorist scoots past the Palace Museum, built in the late 19th century for members of the sultan's family. It was renamed the People's Palace after the revolution of 1964, and has housed a museum since 1994.
The Forodhani Orphanage was established in 1964 by Zanzibar's government. In the evening, children scamper across the walkway and call out to the tourists below.
Many houses in Stone Town, the historic heart of Zanzibar city, have been converted from former palaces, or the private homes of wealthy merchants. Here, a young boy races through one of the city's distinctive carved doorways.
After confrontations with local police, hundreds of merchants were relocated to Saateni, an impromptu market built on the outskirts of Zanzibar city.
"The people who come here and see I am so charming, they must think I am a very rich man," said Suleiman, a fabric seller in Zanzibar. Crackdowns and fines by the police take a heavy toll on local merchants.
"People used to cook big pots of food, and anyone would come inside to sit and eat," said the author's neighbor, Zainab. Despite Zanzibar's rising cost of living, the mother of seven still welcomes neighbors into her home.
Pweza wa nazi, octopus simmered in a spicy coconut sauce, is a Zanzibari specialty.
During the author's stay in Zanzibar, he taught basic computer skills to Kombo, who works at his cousin's vegetable stall in Darajani Market six days a week. "I am living very far in the past," Kombo said.
In small doses, the author gradually learned enough Swahili to make it through the market. Here, he is taught the Swahili word for garlic, kitunguu saumu.
At dusk, tourists flock to Forodhani Gardens for a taste of the day's catches, grilled by local fishermen beneath the stars.
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