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At a time of sociocultural changes that started questioning established Islamic learning traditions (independence years, post-Cold War/book market liberalization), printing diasporas exerted influence on the circulation of Islamic texts in East Africa: published overseas (Cairo, Beirut, and the Indian subcontinent) and/or locally reprinted on the Swahili-speaking Islamic coast, they came to play a seminal role in negotiating Swahili Muslim literary culture. How have transoceanic religious and intellectual networks operating beyond national borders become intertwined? In this paper, the beginnings of Swahili Muslim book publishing—and the entities underpinning it, such as Nairobi’s Islamic Foundation Center, a Pakistani-oriented charitable foundation—will be outlined. I will then delve into the history of Indian-and-Swahili family-run publishers Adam Traders based in Mombasa in order to tackle hitherto neglected transoceanic connections and patterns of influence across the sea.

Open Access
In: Islamic Africa
In: From Trustworthiness to Secular Beliefs