Princess Salme of Zanzibar comes into Focus

If you have been fascinated with Zanzibar and its history, Jane Jaffer, the Oman-based author, in her novel takes you on an in-depth narration of a historical story.

Sayyida Salme is a personality who has intrigued many people from various parts of the world. Till today, people who visit Zanzibar invariably have it in their itinerary to visit her museum. The first question that arises what took Jane to Zanzibar for her writing venture? Love in the Time of Zanzibar authored by Jane was officially launched today at Qurum Commercial Complex at 7 pm.

Why Zanzibar?

When I was assisting Saud bin Ahmed al Busaidi in writing his memoirs, he told me of an old woman who lived in his house in Zanzibar. Her name was Zohra, and she had apparently been Sayyida Salme’s confidante. I was intrigued. Later on, I travelled to Zanzibar and I really fell in love with it.

I visited all the places that Sayyida Salme had lived and went to the archives and found documents about her life.

Sayyida Salme wrote her autobiography in 1888, and was probably the first Omani woman to write her memoirs. My book links the stories of two women who lived in Zanzibar in 19th Century. I have merged fact with fiction to bring their stories to life.

Can you tell us about your writing journey?

My writing journey began relatively recently. In 2003 I published a book of poetry, then a romantic thriller, a children’s book, the history of a school and then assisted Saud in writing his memoirs. I have been working on the book for the past three years.

Where will the book be available?

It will be available in the Let’s Read Book Shop in the Qurum Complex (CCC) and in the Family Book Shop in MSQ. I hope to have it n WH Smiths and Borders soon.

What’s next?

More memoirs as I am passionate about writing people’s stories. Then maybe I will write my own!


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