Nasser Noormohamed Kasmani

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Nasser Noormohamed Kasmani
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  • Business- Impex China
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Born in Zanzibar

Ithnasheri Dispensary – One of the historical landmarks in Stonetown – Zanzibar Island

Brief history of the dispensary:

The Old Dispensary, also known as Ithnasheri Dispensary, is a historical building in Stone Town, Zanzibar. It is located on the seafront, in Mizingani Road, halfway between the Palace Museum and the harbour. It owes its name to the fact that it served as a dispensary in the first half of the 20th century.

The Dispensary is one of the most finely decorated buildings of Stone Town and a symbol of the multi-cultural architecture and heritage of the city. ]Its wooden carved balconies, with stained glass decorations, are of Indian influence; the main structure is built with traditional Zanzibari coral rag and limestone, but covered with stucco adornments of European neo-classical taste. The inside of the building is just as sophisticated, with a covered courtyard and carved bridges connecting the floors.

The Dispensary is one of Stone Town's major tourist attractions. It has a small museum about the history of Zanzibar. It was commissioned in 1887 by Tharia Topan, a prominent Khoja Ismaili Indian merchant and brought to completion in 1894. In 1900 the building was bought by a prominent Khoja Shia Ithnasheri Indian merchant, a member of Zanzibar Hujjat Jamaat, Hajji Nasser Noormohamed Kasmani who decided that the ground floor would be used as a dispensary, while the upper floors were partitioned into apartments.

In 1964, following the Zanzibar Revolution (whereby most Zanzibari Indians, including those who lived above the dispensary, left Zanzibar), the building was requisitioned by the government and later fell into disuse and decay.

In 1990, as a part of a general plan for the renovation of the historical buildings of Stone Town, the Dispensary was renovated and since April 1994, it operates as a musuem.

Zanzibar High Court Case : 2/69 Re Nasser Norrmahamed

"He started his business m 1903. He was involved in importing and exporting with China.

He was able to start his business—read to obtain credit—only after he agreed to take over his father’s debts, which he did.

The trustee report of his case reads as follows: “The business was a paying one, but unfortunately the insolvent had undertaken also to pay his father’s debt, which he did to the extent of Rs 2100.”