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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania, located on the eastern coastline of the country. It was the former national capital, but lost this status to Dodoma in 1974. However, the building of the new capital was not completed until 1996, leaving much of the government and power remaining in Dar es Salaam, which is still the wealthiest city and area in Tanzania.

It was founded as a fishing village, called "Mzizima" around the 18th Century. Being located on the Indian Ocean trading route drew attention and prosperity to the town, and in 1865, Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar began building a new, grander city right on top of the former fishing village. Dar es Salaam means "house of peace" in Arabic.

Today, Dar es Salaam is known for its stark contrast of the ultra-rich and the poor, it's slums, city skyline, waterfront, port, heavy traffic, and peaceful way of life despite economic issues. It is one of the safest large cities in East Africa.





People Born in Dar es Salaam

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Dar es Salaam in People's Lives

Roald Dahl: I was transferred to this city by the company that I worked for, Shell Petroleum, in 1936. I had formerly been briefly station in Mombasa, Kenya. I lived here for three happy and eventful years, staying in a large house provided by Shell on the outskirts of the city, rooming with a couple of other Shell employees. I lived in luxury with a cook and personal servants, and felt the wealthiest and most privileged that I ever had in my life. My job consisted of going out on assignments bringing and supplying oil to clients all across Tanzania (then called Tanganyika). I loved the exploring and adventure, and was often thrilled by encounters with African wildlife, such as lions and black mambas. In 1939, as the threat of war loomed over the world, plans were made to round up all of the hundreds of German expatriates living in this city. I was made a lieutenant of the King's African Rifles for the occasion, and commanded a platoon of native troops. Finding that I enjoyed the exhileration of military work, I enlisted in the Royal Air Force three months later. To secure my position as an aircraftsman, I made a 600 mile journey by car to Nairobi.

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