Franziska Fay is a visiting research fellow with the Oman Research Grant, sponsored by the Sultan Qaboos Higher Centre for Culture and Science.
Building on preliminary fieldwork with young people in Zanzibar and Oman in 2018 and 2019, this project explores the following questions: What does it mean to be a ‘young’ (below the age of 35) Swahili-speaker in Oman? How do young people make sense of their Omani identities while also speaking Swahili? What are the implications of also speaking Swahili in a majority Arabic-speaking state? Where do these young people positions themselves on the spectrum of the so-called Zanzibar Diaspora? The approach aims to offer a more nuanced understanding of contemporary and translocal Omani/Zanzibari identity formation. Foregrounding young Swahili-speaking Omani’s perspectives in the transnational process of identity formation – both as youth and as citizens – can offer new insights on what it means to be ‘young’, ‘Omani’, a ‘Swahili-speaker’, and a second or third generation (post-)diasporan.