Vipassana in Middle East
Courses have now been held in several countries in the Middle East. There are total two centers and five non-center locations in this region. A total of around 1000 students per year are attending courses in United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon and Palestine. To read a detailed account of the first course held in Muscat and Mr. Goenka's visit to the Middle East, please click here.
Dhamma Iran, the Vipassana center in Iran conducts regular 10 day and other courses.
In Israel, land was acquired for the first Vipassana center, Dhamma Pamoda, in March 2010. This historic step came after 20 years of productive effort in organising hundreds of courses in rented sites for thousands of students. The property is spread across 10 acres of land in a beautiful area, close to the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River, two hours from central Israel. Surrounding it are plantations of date palms and a nature reserve. The first 10-day course in this center was conducted in July 2014.
Vipassana in Africa
There is one center along with twenty-two non-center locations spread across many African countries. Translations in local languages of Kiswahili (Swahili), Afrikaans, Amharic (Ethiopia), Portuguese (Angola) are in use – besides English and Hindi.
Vipassana in South Africa
The Vipassana Center in South Africa – Dhamma Pataka – was established in 2005 on 7 hectares of land near Cape Town. It lies in a valley overlooking vineyards and farm lands with a magnificent mountain backdrop. The center accommodates 55 students in 12 chalets, with meditation cells for 20 students.
Each year about eleven 10-day courses and two advanced courses are held in the Center. Since 2005, around sixty 10-day courses have been held at the Center and the first 20-day course was in held in 2009. Non-center courses are also held in Johannesburg and the Eastern Cape.
Vipassana in other African Countries
Kenya – The first course was organized in 2001 with about 3 courses every year since then. The Satipatthana course was held in 2009. 10-day courses are held in Nairobi
and Meru in English/Kiswahili.
Zimbabwe – Courses were held once a year in 2001, 2003 and 2007 and twice a year in 2005 and 2006. Children’s courses were conducted in 2005 supported by a Vipassana meditation center in South Africa.
Tanzania – Had courses in 2001 and 2002, and then not until 2010 due to lack of resources.
Angola – Had the first course in English/ Portuguese in 2005 and another in 2009.
Ethiopia – Three ten day courses have been conducted since 2008 in English/ Amharic. The first Satipatthana course was held in 2012. Children's courses have been offered in schools to about 40 children since 2010.
Morocco – Since 2008, ten day courses are offered for about 30 students each year.
Swaziland – Had a course in 2009.
Mauritius – The first course was held on the island in 2009.
Benin - 3 courses have been held since 2011.
The African Heritage Course
Vipassana is slowly gaining ground in the continent of Africa. To stimulate this further, a special course (called the African Heritage Course) was conducted at the Global Pagoda in December 2009 for African students. The 43 participants of the course came from many African countries (including countries where no Vipassana course has been held so far). The course was conducted by a female African-American teacher. After the African Heritage Course, 8 students attended the Gratitude Gathering at the Global Pagoda.