Omaha Children's Museum

America To Zanzibar

Exhibit runs Jan. 18 through April 19, 2020

Travel the world in a single museum visit!

Enjoy innovative hands-on experiences and discover fascinating objects, images and information from over 50 countries. Children can explore ancient trade routes on a two story Indian Ocean dhow (boat) or on a camel. They’ll thrill to the excitement of a global marketplace as they pretend to buy, sell and trade fruit, fish, spice, ceramic, textiles, and rugs. The exhibit environment is rich with art, architecture and design elements from across the globe. Visitors will marvel at a 3D exploration of mosque architecture from the Maldives to China. Original works by emerging American Muslim artists join traditional art forms including intricately designed tiles, ornate ceramics, and complex patterned rugs. There’s even an interactive replica/interpretation of a Pakistani truck for children to decorate.

Families can also compose music using an app featuring the rebana, tabla, kora, oud, ney, and ghijak, listen to stories and view objects shared by local America Muslim families and even learn how to write and say “My name is …” in 21 languages.

"America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far" was developed by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.


Support provided by

The Sherwood Foundation

American Muslim Institute

The Weitz Foundation

Don and Andi Goldstein

The Holland Foundation

Nebraska Arts Council


Special Events

Throughout the run of the exhibit, special events and artist visits have been scheduled. Below are the schedule of family-friendly events:

Opening Day: To celebrate the opening of the exhibit, goodie bags will be given to the first 200 children visiting the family. Items are provided by Oriental Trading Co.

Artist visits: With the help of Lutheran Family Services the following artists will be at the museum to introduce different areas of Muslim culture to families

  • February 22, 2020 - Farah Al Sebaie, Syrian embroidery, wooden crafts, and jewelry
  • March 21, 2020 - Mohammad Shafiq Seddiqi, handmade Afghan rugs
  • April 11, 2020 - Aisha al Saleh, Syrian cuisine samples

Multicultural Family Festival Weekend: From April 17-19, families can enjoy themed activities throughout the museum. Activities will include unique programming in the exhibit "America to Zanzibar" as well as crafts and performances coordinated by Omaha Sister Cities Association. On the Friday of the Multicultural Family Festival, the museum will stay open late -- until 8 p.m. -- for a special late night of play and activities. Regular museum hours will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

Our Journey To Here: With the help of community artists, this on-going project will help families share their own immigrant story through visual arts. The first artist to visit the museum will be Victoria Hoyt from the Union for Contemporary Art on Jan. 23.

Curator Talk: The curator from Children's Museum of Manhattan, which designed the exhibit, will speak in Omaha on March 6. A time and location will be announced at a later date.



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