Associate Professor Dr. Mara Leichtman publishes an article in The Conversation

Department of Anthropology Associate Professor Dr. Mara Leichtman published an article in The Conversation, which is a nonprofit independent news organization.

Dr. Leichtman’s article, titled, “How Shiite Islam reached Tanzania, and Ashoura processions became an annual tradition,” is based on her fieldwork conducted in Tanzania this past summer. This article provides a brief history of Shiite Islam in East Africa followed by a detailed description of how Ashoura processions became an annual tradition in Tanzania. According to Dr. Leichtman, “In Tanzania, the government protects freedom of religion. And that is evident in the unique processions of the Indian and African religious communities sharing the peaceful message of Imam Hussein.”

Dr. Leichtman acknowledges the funding she received from the Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs and the Center for Islam in the Contemporary World at Shenandoah University to pursue this research.

Read the full article at:

Shiite women prepare to march in the inaugural Ashoura procession in a neighborhood of Arusha, Tanzania, in 2017. Mara Leichtman