The advent of Prophet Muhammad (Peace upon him) is an important event celebrated with pomp in the Muslim world and more significantly in the city ofTimbuktu. Since the time of Abdul Al Kaissi Tawati, a Timbuktu scholar of the 16th century, the birth of the Prophet Mohammed is celebrated and commonly known as ‘’Maouloud’’ or ‘’Al moudou’’ in Timbuktu.

It is a time of great pomp and mobilizes  all the muslim community of the city and the region, and those of the Timbuktu’s diaspora worldwide. this makes it a time of true religious tourism around mosques , mausoleums of saints and many manuscript libraries. The Mouloud is celebrated annually on the 12th  day for the birth and the 18th  day for the baptism during the lunar month “rabiyou lawal”.

Preparations for the festival begin with the appearance of the moon from the previous month by researching panegyrics on the sites of reading points of mosques and Zawiya. At the Kunta (south) of the Mosque of Sidi yehia and Tacaboundou among hal- Araouane. Just before the birth fest, reading points are cleaned, trimmed and praised for hosting the night . Players are dressed in their finest traditional clothes and wearing

their finest hairstyles. The readings of the birth are preceded by dinners offered by leading cheicks reading at various homes. These dinners are banquets in honor of the players and notables of the districts concerned. The readings of the birth continue until about 3am. At 3.30am finishes that of Sidi yehia by where people come together to lead the Cheick Badjindé Cadi of the city to his home where is “Fatiha” —final birth.

The Feast of the Baptism Two days before the baptism is a competition session between readers of Sankore, Badjindé, Djingareyber and “Bobo Houme” at Sankore north of Timbuktu.

Since the birth fest, the readings of baptism on the 18th night of the lunar month are preceded by a meal (dinner) offered by the Cheick and religious leader. The reading sessions are run on all reading points The reading sessions will continue throughout the day. The final consecration will take place at the Sankore site where readers will converge at different points for the fence to fence panegyrics and final Fatiha before the great prayer on the esplanade of the Mosque of Sankore. The festive closing day of baptism is marked by the accompaniment of a prince

of the traditional chiefs on horseback and music to the tribal chief who offers a dinner on the night called ‘’ Tanaré”

El Hadj Djitteye

TIMBUKTU : Land of Peace and Culture

Editor : John H Sime


Timbuktu is a multicultural, cosmopolitan city with cultural diversity. She identifies herself to the world by way of her spiritual and religious knowledge of cultural diversity. We study in this present article: the turban. It is a cloth with a length of 4 to 5 meters, and a width of 1m often colored white or black

In January 2011 I had tthe honor to make the Turban of the greatest Rock band of U2 lead by Bono Vox, in the world in the upstairs of the great market of timBuktu.

, brown, dark blue, grayish green or black glossy. The name (lomassa or lobou tabeye) came from the east , North Africa or the current Sudan. The turban has a variety of senses and meanings in families, races and ethnicities. In a basic sense it is protection of the face or the whole head against dust, sandy wind

or the sun of the Sahara Sudan. The turban also has a whole another meaning that is even deeper and more spiritual for the ranks of the component families of Timbuktu. Tabaye in Songhai or Fatara or Cheeta in Moorish language, the turban shows cultural diversity. Djingareyber, Badjindé, Sankore, Sareikeina: four families that are components of Timbuktu wear turbans. Conservative family traditions from generation to generation transmit the values of the turban and its wearing by initiation or by observation of young people

learning the ways and customs of the great families of Timbuktu. These families devote effort to large and important conservative traditions. An introduction to the turban is made to any young native from tombouctou reaching the age of majority

and considered responsible and mature. A group of eligible experts of the Koran, customs, and tradition is formed to lead and direct the ceremonial turban and its attachment to any young and newly responsible adult. The turban is a of course the head dress of Timbuktu in its basic sense it also serves as a decoration and embellishment to men. Its importance is all the more impressive because special permission is granted to any man who wears it

. Its value is also highly spiritual as the true meaning of the turban as a responsibility of the wearer to his society. Several things characterize the turban as the ceremony, race or ethnicity. In Timbuktu each ethnic group wears a turban for its history, ancestors, or customs. Meaning is given to every way to wear turbans in Timbuktu. The ceremony of the turban is a highly significant ceremony organized in Timbuktu

. It is the ceremony for the celebration of the majority or the empowerment of young men,. It can also be a ceremony to celebrate the newly married. In either of the two ceremonies it is a question of responsibility. And the meaning of the turban carries most of the values and meanings as a heavy burden upon the head of young initiatiated to the wearing of the the turban . There are equally different meanings assigned to other turbans. The name of Allah

is the form in which the turbanrests on the head of the subject. On the head of turbané we see vertically the letter Alif of the Arabic alphabet— an arc drawn from right to left: allaam forming the letter, and above the head a bow , a circle signifying the letter, the three combined to mean the name of Allah. In general the number of youth they will initiate to the wearing of  the turban  is at least two, but there is a countless limit which could reach up to 40-50, depending family memberships,. The youth initiated to the wearing of the turban also called sultanas in Arabic or souttanes , to change the name to Songhai. The initiates  are forbidden to go out in public after the ceremony of initiation for 72 hours or 3 days . Then they will respond to invitations from close relatives include maternal and paternal uncles.These are invitations to by a great feasts in their honor. Various artists are invited, variety of culinary treats of Timbuktu are served . At the end of these three days is organized a special outing authorizing official release cassocks. The soutannes brought into some cemeteries in the city , still run by qualified scholars where rest the bones of the saints. The soutannes pray and ask God for blessings. Then a great procession of greetings is made from door to door of close relatives who have actively participated to the success of the ceremony. The day is sanctioned with a large lunch given by the family patriarch. And here Inductees are allowed to wear the turban and to attend all the ceremonies which are now held in the city. They will also be part of the policy groups and reflect on matters concerning the policies of the city. In the traditional cultural heritage of Timbuktu, the wearing of the turban is very important in the life a man, because it marks the entrance of a man in the status of a responsible elders who can now take part in all issues concerning the city of Timbuktu, his family , his ethnic and his religious sect.

El Hadj Djitteye


Editor John H Sime

Contributor for the reaserch of this article : Ahmed Bagno Wangara: descedant from the  eligible family and expert of the Koran, customs, and tradition  formed to lead and direct the ceremonial turban and its attachment to any young and newly responsible adult in Timbuktu.


Founded by the Tuaregs around 1077, Timbouctou or Timbuktu (that means ‘’the well of Bouctou’’ in Tamasheq, or ‘’the woman with a great navel) is a Malian city situated in the northern part of the country, on the great bend of the Niger River. It is 10 kilometers north of the river on a sandy plain dotted with ponds and mimosa bushes and palm trees. It’s population is estimated at about 70, 000 inhabitants. Historical Timbuktu was a triangle of 6 km with the tip to the north; some ruins surround the north and west, indicating a greater extent in the past; a mosque is at the northern tip, a citadel was built by the French in the late nineteenth century, as well as two strong north points having been destroyed by the Fulani in 1826. The streets are narrow, the houses often one floor, fairly large, made of earth bricks dried in the Sun. In the past, Timbuktu drew its food from Djenne Macina, and its wood from Kabara. It was essentially a city of commerce, enriched by the transit between Sudan and the caravan routes that crossed the Sahara to Morocco, In-Salah (Algeria and Ghadames) here was resold to the Sudanese salt mines in Taoudeni the products from the North and those of the local industry, gold jewelry, leather goods. Muslim culture was flourishing, thanks to the existence of madrasas and Islamic libraries. The fame of this mysterious great commercial city in western Sudan had an attraction for a lot of Western great travelers such as the British Major Alexandre Gordon Laing who arrived in Timbuktu in 1826, but was murdered. René Caillié, a French traveler, spent fourteen days there in April 1828 and wrote a description of the city. Two German travelers visited the city: Heinrich Barth in 1853 and Oscar Lenz in 1879. Timbuktu is also known for its mud brick architecture. Three ancient mosques which are classified as U N E S C O WORLD heritage sites since 1988 are namely The Mosque of Djingareyber ,The Mosque of Sidi Yehiya, and The Mosque of Sankore. These mosques sheltered schools and welcomed thousands of students coming from many parts of the continent and Maghreb. this is what some historians call ‘’ University of Sankoré’’.

In april 1st 2012, the legendary city of Timbuktu fell under the hand of different rebel groups and islamist militants. the Population of Timbuktu generally wakes up with the call of different muezzins of different mosques of Timbuktu. On that day, the population of Timbuktu woke up with the noise of heavy weapons. the Malian armed forces fled and Timbuktu was occupied by many armed groups including The National Mouvement for the Liberation of AZAWAD (MNLA in French) Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and another terrorist group named

Ansar Eddine. During their rule, population of Timbuktu endured all kinds of human abuse and humiliation because Timbuktu practised a tolerant Islam (Malikite rite).

The Invaders came with a rigorous and fundamentalist vision of Islam. So they forced women to wear burqa (Islamic clothe for women covering all their body).

Men were told to keep their beard, Hijab and Nikab while men were obliged to let their beard and wear pants which do not cover their ankles. Local Mausoleums or shrines of saint were destroyed,

some manuscripts were burnt, profane music was forbidden as well as some local festive traditions

, just like the great festival in the desert which welcome thousands of tourists and singers in the sand of dunes of timbuktu, in january 2011 before the occupation even the greatest rock band in the world I mean the Band of U2 OF Bono Perform in the sand of dunes of Timbuktu.

 Consequently, the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu were moved progressively from Timbuktu to Bamako to protect them from total destruction by islamist groups.

The manuscripts are a part of African and human heritage. Written in for the most part in Arabic, and some in local languages, they deal with many topics such as traditional medicine, history, esoteric science, politics, laws, economic affairs, and diplomacy and so on. Timbuktu is a city that has built its reputation on an intellectual influence today unparalleled in Black Africa. Between the 15th and 16th century, the University of Sankoré, according to the chronicles of Ibn Battuta, counted up to 25 000 students and 180 Coranic Schools inside and outside the city of Timbuktu.

Methods were of course scholastic but there was enthusiasm for research and a desire to know which were exciting. Printing - even in Europe - was in its infancy and the essential didactic material was imported books from the Maghreb and the East which were copied manually. Trading and copying manuscripts, which often took the direction of other countries, had become very profitable activities in Sankore University as well as in hundreds of Koranic schools of the city. the manuscripts were copied

by many rivaled calligraphic techniques. Timbuktu, with its geographical location is halfway between Black Africa and the Maghreb, and served as a rear base for Islamist fighters

eager to spread Islam in Black Africa then little Islamized. This situation largely influenced its social and religious fabric.

During the occupation of Timbuktu, the Islamic militants entered the institute of high studies and Islamic research, on April 2, 2012. They first pretended to secure the ancient manuscripts from thieves. After a week they forbade the workers of the institute from entering the center. On their departure, while French drones were bombing various Islamic militant positions, some ancient manuscripts had been stolen and others burned in Timbuktu by militants which have been living in the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu. The burning of ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu by Islamists militias deeply touch the soul of natives of Timbuktu because the manuscripts represent the soul and the identity of natives of Timbuktu and the humanity.

 According to The vice Director of the Ahmed Baba Institute, Mr Abdoulaye Cisse: “Our happiness is that we took advantage of moving a great part of manuscripts to Bamako”. They had used many means of transportation in order to hide them from invaders. They had put manuscripts in old bags and mud. Then they transported them on the backs of camels and donkeys in order to smuggle them.

We interviewed a guardian of the Ahmed Baba Institute , Mr Housseini Traore , a 32 years old man about how they smuggle the manuscripts from Timbuktu to Bamako.He explained us that “ since the city fell under the hand of different armed groups, all of them visited the ancient building of Ahmed Baba Institute to check if there are manuscripts hidden inside. Sometimes they threatened us. The pressure was high; we contacted the director of the institute who sent men from Bamako in order to move the manuscripts from Timbuktu to Bamako. In the night, manuscripts were then put in rice bags in small quantities. We used donkeys to transport the bags full of manuscripts to the smugglers until we finish getting all the manuscripts out of the building” That time marked the beginning of the exile of Timbuktu’s ancient manuscripts. .

 Today, despite the liberation of Timbuktu, the presence of OPERATION Barkhane, and other international forces, the manuscript of Timbuktu are still in exile except for some families which chose to hide their manuscripts inside their houses.

In order to understand the fate Timbuktu’s manuscripts in exile, we had an exclusive Intervention of Dr Abdoulkadrissa Idrissa Maiga, Director of Ahmed Baba Institute for Higher Studies and Islamic research (ex centre Ahmed BaBa):

 • Where do the manuscripts come from?

The manuscripts come from multiple different places, there is a first type of paper that comes from the East and North African countries: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and of course Mideast. thank you for giving me this opportunity talk about a very important part of our cultural heritage

If there is anything today that refutes what Westerners have said as to an historical lack of advanced civilization and culture in Mali and in Africa it is these manuscripts. In 1970 the Ahmed Baba Center opened and began collecting manuscripts throughout the territory of Mali, and also in neighboring countries like Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Nigeria.

 • How have they been transmitted?

Concerning the mode of transmission, manuscripts were handed over form generations to generations, thanks to teaching and copying. A single manuscript may have many copies. As regards their mode of transmission if the knowledge contained the first, speaking of contained and now we talk about possession. Contained the manuscript was handed down from generation to generation by teaching and by the work of a copyist, have copies were transmitted or it contained teaches and transmits a learner until now there are many for one manuscript you can have multiple copies because when there the scientist and there is learners, these learners may be Moroccan, Nigerian, Malian each copy has made its share so that it now has a multitude of copies for a single manuscript that compared to its contained. Compared now has possession, possession of this family to family for example my father died he left a lot of manuscripts although I’m illiterate I must kept these manuscripts because for me a treasure and once I get setpoint before his death my father told me that its not beware, it should not be touched must be jealously guarded its  so that often there are families holding manuscripts that do not know nothing is that its mean but because there was set or because an inheritance, a part of the legacy that is not it how to share with the heirs so that as his family in families generations until today we have these manuscripts.

  • how did these manuscripts resist to time?

They resisted because the climate in Timbuktu is a saharian one and its favorable to the conservation of old paper. It is a dry climate.

 • Who holds manuscripts and retain?

According to most manuscripts are families who have manuscripts in 1970 when the Ahmed Baba Institute began collecting manuscripts there were families who really wanted to put their treasure at the disposal of the state but ended up selling it as now Ahmed baba Institute for the State, today we have more than 40,000 manuscripts that its really for the state, There are hundreds of thousands of manuscripts that are in their own I would say in families, or in libraries because some families now begin to make organized libraries Including: the library Mama Haidara , Ben Essayouty Libraries, Library Moustapha Konaté, Fondo Khaty library, library Mahamane Fondogoumo therefore there are several library today,

 • Can you estimate the number of manuscripts in Mali?

 In the region of Timbuktu? In Mali we can talk about more than 400,000 manuscripts ,in Timbuktu are already talking about 300,000 to 350,000 manuscripts

 • What is the impact of the security and political crisis of 2012-2013 on the manuscripts of Timbuktu? (missing manuscripts, manuscripts exfiltrated to Bamako?)

The impact is huge in the sense that initially when the crisis began: for first time everyone considered the manuscripts as children needing to be maintained every day, they were abandoned for almost two years. this abandonment damaged manuscripts, this abandonment affected some of these manuscripts, this abandonment means that we no longer speak of manuscripts in terms of contribution to the economy of families in the region; some of these manuscripts was either burned or removed from being stolen and we noted the disappearance of 4 203 manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba Institute.

 • What are the problems facing conservation in Bamako?

 The first problems encountered in Bamako, both sun and moisture are strong here in Bamako, Bamako dust is this sticky dust that sticks and is not like the dust in Timbuktu. Also rain, because rain in Bamako is different than rain in Timbuktu But thanks to our partners, also international partners .Lux-Dev intervenes in promoting manuscripts and involving all development actors in the region of Timbuktu. On the financing of Luxembourg, managed by lux-Dev and supervised, by Mali is a project called Project Mali 15. the manuscripts arrived in Bamako piled stacked in canteens

what needed to be done first was rescue. through Luxembourg we have at our disposal a generator that can provided 24/24 electricity so that we can keep a certain temperature in the storage of manuscripts. Then these partners put at our disposal three humidifiers to reduce humidity and day today thank you god I think these manuscripts are well.

 • can the Manuscripts now return to Timbuktu?

 One must choose the lesser of two evils. Between the two words must choose the lesser of the manuscripts remain here in Bamako…………………. they say it is essential to first try to save the images of manuscripts first, We will digitize the manuscripts. This work began with another partner. we now have a partner who was spoke at the NGO SAVAMA DCI. They are MAJID in Doubaye The center has provided us MAJID materials, provided a preservation technique, also provided us with the expertise to manufacture boxes Today thank you God maybe 1/3 of the manuscripts that are in Bamako today in the space of four months will already be scanned and I think by the end of September— at the most at the end of the year —will be in Timbuktu.

If not, what are the prerequisites that must be met?

 there is a need for security not only against crime but also against climate hazards such as fire,. We must now be sure that the manuscripts that are returned are secure. First the libraries, must be rehabilitated with locks, with exit in case of emergency.

• Are Timbuktu Manuscripts are exploited by Malian scholars particularly those of Timbuktu?

Unfortunately no,  unfortunately not in Timbuktu. I known a person who published only one article to describe handwritten manuscripts and undeveloped and not exploited manuscripts. the same must be published in English, and French . Mr  Abdel Kader Mama Haidara began long ago working on his. He can be 5-6 manuscript that are in the process of publishing. At our level we started this work, but it is not finished but I think that in a few months we may have to be our first publication that is to say, a scientific work around the manuscripts that we publish, if it pleases God.

 • What is your last word?

“My last word is that you, I and the others have a job that we were given by our ancestors, by our learned scholars to preserve the manuscripts and to study them. You are now a native journalist of Timbuktu

 El Hadj Djitteye is a freelance journalist and blogger based in Timbuktu. He writes and reports on issues pertaining to Islamist conflict, politics, culture and ethnic conflict in Mali West Africa. El Hadj uses Tumblr to tell stories about the Golden Civilisation of Timbuktu because ” salt comes from the north,Gold from the south, and money comes from the country of white people, but soft words,holy things and short stories are found nowhere but in Timbuktu” El Hadj will give you rigorously reported stories you can’t find elsewhere. 

,” I’m glad you’re interested in this. I have wanted you to be the first that the other learns who learns about all this. We need special status for manuscripts in the statutes today means that protects against attempts manuscripts”

Ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu constitute a treasure which is visited by dignitaries,

researchers, analysts, historians every year. the fact that these manuscripts are temporarily far from the ancient city of Timbuktu represents a handicap for the cultural development of the regions. The ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu are a cultural heritage that belongs to the whole nation: Songhois, Fulanis, Touaregs, Bambaras, etc. They are a cause shared by every Malian and remind us of how Timbuktu’s civilization is a multicultural one , with an Islam that most of the time got people together and pushed them towards intellectual development and knowledge spreading. We have manuscripts that deal with pacific settlement of armed conflicts, good governance, tolerance; mutual respect and solidarity between communities. Such manuscripts should be studied and their contents used to find solutions to current peace issues in the country. We have manuscript that deal with traditional pharmacopoeia; we can for instance develop an alternative medicine. The ancient manuscripts are not only curiosity objects; if they are valuable in that they may contribute to national development and enhance tolerance.

El Hadj Djitteye


Editor : John H Sime


Unemployment is one factor causing immigration for Malian youth towards Magrebian and western countries. Every  year a lot of Malian youth die in the route of immigration, because they use all means of transportation to the cross desert and the seas in order to attend their destinations.


On a bus returning from Gao, capital of the 7 th northern region of Mali, we interview Mr Seydou Senou, a young immigrant coming from Algeria after two long years of hard work in order to change his life. Mr Seydou Senou a, 24 years old Malian, native from Bamako— he got his baccalaureate in 2011. He studied philosophy at the University of Bamak : the Faculty of Letters , Arts and Human Sciences. Unfortunately, because of poverty, He decided to give up school and embrace the road of immigration.

He went to Algeria to find job opportunities and a better future. He was in a village called Adrar working as a mason or builder. He spend 2 years working hard in order to change his living conditions and the living conditions of his Family. On the way to Bamako on the bus Mr Seydou Senou explained to me how in the village Of In Khalil , on the border of Algeria and Mali was occupied by MNLA fighters as one part the republic of Azawad. The MNLA fighters would claim tolls upon passengers of vehicles. According to Mr Senou : “ Our car arrived in the village of In Khalil during night time at 8 ‘oclock. The MNLA fighters stopped us and explained that in their country during night time no one is allowed to travel. You must spend the night and continue your drive during daytime. Afterwards they collected our passports and asked us if there are natives of northern regions of Mali like Kidal , Gao and Timbuktu among us. We said no. We were 22 passengers all from southern regions of Mali. They explained us in order to across the border Malians must paid 10.000 Fcfa for the stamp, we paid the money and they stamped all our passports and we continued driving. So before we arrived in the village of Anefis we also met a patrol of MNLA fighters. They stopped us and asked us for tolls. We explained to them that we had already paid in the checkpoint of Inkhalil. They let us go for the reason that we are simple passengers not businessman. In their base in Khalil the MNLA fighters can be estimated between 400 fighters but most of them are 22 to 25 years old and there are a lot of child soldiers, They gave us a message to transmit to Malian authorities ‘ to accelerate the dialogue and negotiate in order to get the integrity of the territory of AZAWAD or they will close the border for Malians and all the passengers from Mali who tried to cross their border’”. They said they will catch them and send them to prison. So for the security of the passengers who across our borders, the government of Mali must give them independence”.

"Mr Senou, when your car was driving in the desert, did you notice the presence of MNLA fighters in the road?" " All along the desert we noticed the MNLA patrols They have Kalashnikovs and heavy weapons. "Mr Senou, as a Malian what’s your last word about that situation ?" “According to me, the government of Mali must accelerate negotiation and retake the integrity of territory even though it’s by fighting. Because the north of Mali is a very vast territory and it can never be divided . Tthe government must retake the integrity of its territory.” "Seydou what will you do once in Mali? “ "Well I will do business with the money I earned during my stay in Algeria and try to enroll at the university in order to continue my studies.”

EL Hadj Djitteye


Editor : John H SIME


An impressive delegation consisting of the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon , the United Nations Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Chief Minusma Albert Koenders, the President of the World Bank Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the Prime Minister Mr Oumar Tatam Ly, the Commissioner of the European Union development Mr. Andris Piebalgs, visited the legendary city of 333 holy saints.

The delegation first visited the great mosque of Djingareyber where the Imam Mr Essayouty explained to the delegation the famous history of Djingareyber mosque— classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

According to the Imam , that mosque used to be a famous learning center in Mali . Its design was accredited to Abu Eshq Es Sahel who was paid 200 kg or 40000 muthgal of gold by Mansan Kankan Moussa, Emperor of Mali. Except for a small part of the northern facade which was built in limestone, the mosque of Djingareyber is entirely made of earth or soil plus organic materials such as fibres, straw and wood. Inside it there are inner courts yards, two minarets and twenty five raw of pillars, and prayer space for 2000 people. Mr. Ban-Ki-moon and his delegation were very impressed to hear the famous history of the mosque of Djingareyber. He explain for the imam of Timbuktu that he heard about the ancient city of Timbuktu and its historic sites all his life and that today he saw the beautiful architecture of that famous mosque.

After the visit to the great mosque the delegation went to the Institute of High Studies and Islamic Research for a conference with local authorities of Timbuktu, notables of Timbuktu, religious leaders of all the communities living in Timbuktu (Fulani Songhai, Moor, Tamasheq, Arabic Touareg, and so on. …).

Before the conference the Secretary General, the president of World Bank and the Commissioner for the European Union for Development explained that the goal of their visit in the legendary city of 333 holy saints is the rebuilding and restoration of the world heritage sites of Timbuktu.

That conference started with the speech of the governor of Timbuktu, Mr Mamadou Mangara, who thanked the delegation for that important visit to the legendary city of 333 holy saints.

According to the Governor : “the ancient city of Timbuktu had known a lot of conquest and occupation in the past but people of Timbuktu are tolerant and pacifist and practice a tolerant Islam and live with tolerance toward other religions. The economy of that city is essentially based on tourist activity but since kidnapping of westerners, touareg revolution and Islamist militant invasions in northern regions of Mali there is no more tourism in the region of Timbuktu.”

It’s important to notice that 95% of habitants of Timbuktu are living thanks to the incomes of tourist activity. These populations are generally in handicraft. During the crisis a large majority of touareg blacksmiths who worked in that sector fled the city and today they are living in refugee’s camps. Today they hope for peace and security in order to come back to their homes. Before the crisis thousands of tourists from all over the world visited the ancient city of Timbuktu and visited toaureg camps by camels.

After the speech of the governor the secretary general Mr Ban Ki-moon made an address to the audience. He first thanked people of Timbuktu for the good reception and explained that their visit in Timbuktu is to express their solidarity to help authorities of Mali and Sahel regions in the process of maintaining peace and security. Mr Ban Ki-moon explained in his address that he was very touched by the destruction of shrines and the burning of ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu. He ends his address by this quote “the united nations will always be with Mali.. The audience’s acclamation sounded in the hall of the Institute of High Studies and Islamic Research with the acclamation that one can understand in the sound the melody of hope for development and how important was that visit of the secretary general for people of Timbuktu. This delegation’s visit to the mysterious city is a sign of international support for Mali and in the Sahel regions. Despite the effect of the terrorist occupation one can see in the faces of audiences today that they are ready for change and opportunities to overcome life challenges.

According to the mayor of Timbuktu Mr. Hallé Ousmane Cissé, thanks to the support of the United Nations and partners populations of Timbuktu has benefited since the crisis up to now. He also underlined the important role that the United Nations played in education, health, and electricity for population of Timbuktu.

Afterwards Mr Abdramane ben essayouty, chairman of the religious leaders of Timbuktu and Imam of the great mosque of Djingareyber explain in his speech that the delegation’s visit in Timbuktu shows the love that they feel for Timbuktu. He also underlines that people of Timbuktu practice an Islam which is based in tolerance and the respect of other religions. He also said that people of Timbuktu are pacifist because they have known a lot of conquerors in the past.

It’s important to notice that all the representatives of different communities living in Timbuktu express their thanks for the visit. In their speeches all underline “national reconciliation between Malians”

The touareg community representative explained in his speech that toureg and other ethnic groups are compelled to live together without racism.

In what concerns development and job creation for the youth of Timbuktu, the representative of youth explained to the conference the lack of job opportunities for the younger generation of Timbuktu.

The great conference ended with addresses of Mr. Ban Ki-moon and the Prime Minister Mr Oumar Tatam Ly.

According to Ban Ki-moon the United Nations and the international community are committed to help the government in the process of reconstruction of Mali.

The prime minister reaffirms the commitment of the government of Mali for the development of the northern regions of Mali in general and the creation of job opportunities for the youth of northern regions of Mali.

Since the liberation of the ancient city of Timbuktu by the French army “operation serval” important leaders visited the historic city all focus on development ,rebuilding, and restoration of its ancient historic sites.

It’s important to remind our readers that the city was occupied by touareg revolutionaries and Islamist militants in 2012. During the occupation ancient city of Timbuktu was ruled under sharia law. Innocent people endured all manner of inhuman abuses and humiliation. During the occupation Islamists destroyed the identity of the people of Timbuktu, which are shrines. Among these shrines there is shrine of the saint “Sidi Mahamoud”, classified shrines of UNESCO in the world.

The treasure of Timbuktu, meaning the ancient manuscripts, which represent their human identity ,were burned by the Islamist militants before they fled the ancient city. Today people of Timbuktu hope for change and development .

the visit of Secretary General and his delegation shows us that the world is mobilized for rebuilding Mali and the spirit of the northern regions of Mali. Malians must be united as brothers and sisters and must come to the table of national reconciliation.

El Hadj Djitteye

Editor : John H Sime


A United Nations delegation composed of British Overseas Territories Minister, Mr. Mark Simmonds , Head of WFP Mali Sally Haydock , and drss David Gressly paid a visit to Timbuktu, on Tuesday 1 October 2013. During the visit, the delegation met with the authorities of Timbuktu. The British minister explained to the press that his visit to Timbuktu was part of the reconstruction of Timbuktu, this historic city that was occupied by jihadists. It allowed him to confer with local authorities in order to know himself the challenges that authorities have.

In the context of humanitarian assistance to Mali, the British minister also told the local press that the British government finances in Timbuktu projects of humanitarian assistance through WFP. the British Minister was informed at a meeting with local authorities of regarding challenges to electricity facing the people of Timbuktu, and what they have done. They also considered solutions to this problem. The British minister also stressed the important role of the United Nations in the maintenance of peace and reconciliation in Mali . He has also work in the context of economic , cultural and political development , having met the challenges of security. The delegation also met with religious leaders of Timbuktu. At this meeting the British minister told the religious leaders about the interest demonstrated by British government to help Mali to overcome this crisis . The British minister also stressed the important role that religious leaders can play in reconciliation. On the collaboration of the British government and religious leaders, the minister wished success to the essential Mali in this situation.



Editor : john . H Sime



An impressive delegation of the United Nations, including FAO, UNICEF, PAM and the OUMMOU SANGARE FOUNDATION landed on the airport of Timbuktu on Friday, 17 February 2013. This delegation first visited the governor of the region of Timbuktu , Colonel Major Mr. Mamadou Mangara. They assess the situation of schools, security and food. The representatives of FAO talked about the issues of agriculture and how to assist farmers of the Timbuktu area in seeds and agricultural machinery.
The Delegation visited the Imam of Timbuktu Mr. Abdrahamane Ben Essayouti , the secretary general of the ministry of education Mr Souleymane Goundiam introduced the delegation . He said that the government of Mali and partners are working to resume activities in the northern region of Mali , particularly Timbuktu. Timbuktu had known the pain intolerance but today we arrive in a town where serenity reigns, where peace reigns however it ‘s a peace that must be consolidated by action of development. It’s for that cause that the government of Mali and partners visit people of Timbuktu today.

Afterwards the representative of the World Food Program, Ms Sally Haydock, Representative of PAM in Mali, said to the Imam of Timbuktu:
“Today we are here to greet you and thank you for staying with your population during the occupation and for supporting your population in the fire of war.” She also said: “Our organization also tries to support the population of Timbuktu by our activities, we are here and we will continue to support the population of Timbuktu”.
Afterwards the Imam of Timbuktu, Mr. Abdrahamane Ben Essayouti,  said: “You are welcome to Timbuktu, thanks to the donations of United Nations, PAM, UNICEF, and FAO people of Timbuktu are surviving because we were in an open sky prison. In the sector of school and administration we salute the efforts of the United Nations and other partners for the action they have been doing in Timbuktu.
Within the framework of peace and security we thanks the united nations, above all populations are coming back to their homeland they also need assistance, actually we are in the process of reconciliation Malian must be united as brothers and sisters and must walk hand by hand in order to sit on the table of brotherhood without racism or extremism.
It’s important to notice that we notable of Timbuktu great problem are the issues of children schooling but actually we are happy that they are going to school thanks to the support of partners. All the population of Timbuktu thanks you for the opportunity you are giving to our children to study.
We also hope that the United Nations, FAO, the Oummou Sangare foundation, UNICEF continue to work together with us to overcome our difficulties.
Without peace and security there is no development in Mali. It’s for Malians to work hand by hand on the table of brotherhood and overcome their difficulties in order to develop their country no one can do that for them.”

After the visit of the Imam of Timbuktu the delegation visited a primary school Called ECOLE FONDAMENTALE BAIDODJI AG IKNODODJAZE DU SITE DE BARIZ _HAMMABANGOU.
The headmaster of that school Mr. Toure and his students welcome visitors and explain that this school opened the 11 February 2013 after the Historic liberation of the city of Timbuktu.
It’s important to notice that school welcomes a lot of Arabic and Touareg children including other ethnic groups which live in the neighborhood of that school it’s a mosaic of ethnic group of Timbuktu.
The Delegation first visited the student of first grade (at 5 and 6 years old). When you look at these children you will notice the light of happiness , hope and how they are proud to come back again to school after 9 month of terror and frustration during the Islamic militant domination today school of Timbuktu come to life.
We interviewed Shannon Strother , Unicef chief, about social policy in Mali about the goal of unicef for children of the mysterious city of Timbuktu.
She said that the goal of Unicef is to get any child to school. “We are struggling for the education of little girls for we are meeting with the fathers of the children. The Imam and the governor of Timbuktu help us promote education for all and make sure children are going to school in Timbuktu.” She also said: “We want all girls and boys at school because we know that any educated girl means a better family and a better country to live in. For this reason we are providing school stationery for children and Food for catering.”

Afterwards we interviewed the director of the education academy of Timbuktu, Mr. Adrahamane Cisse : “I Am very happy to welcome these illustrious guests. First of all the government, represented by two ministries , the ministry of Education and the Ministry of Agriculture , and the United Nations including FAO , UNICEF and PAM. This is a sign of satisfaction and comfort for the northern Mali regions and for also the children for whom we have the responsibility to continue their schooling, in order to forget the sad memories that we had been endured in northern region of Mali. I Am really convinced that we will succeed in education this year.”

We also interviewed the secretary general of the Ministry of Education, Mr Souleymane Goundiam, to know about the goal of their visit in Timbuktu. he said:
“Our mission consists of making an inventory of fixtures in Timbuktu. For example this school we visited and to see what are the action which had been done, what was the impact of these actions in particular. In terms of school food and catering and to evaluate with the local actors of development the need which appears at this time for security, and when will displaced populations inside and as well as outside the country started to come back in their homeland.
Afterwards the representative of the World Food Program , Ms Sally Haydock, Representative of PAM in Mali , gave a speech. She started by thanking the headmaster of the school and student parent committee for the good reception. she also said that she notice in the faces of children Happiness and hope ” we will definitely support children and families”.
We will end this article by a famous quotation of Shannon Strother :” if we need peace , security, and development our children must be well educated.”



Editor : john H Sime


This morning people  of Timbuktu detected a suicide mine in the road of the high school of timbuktu called lycéé Mahamane Alassane Haidara.


fortunately Malian forces remove the primer from the mine without collateral damages.




the international committee

of red cross proceed  of a donation of food for the population of timbuktu.

We have inetrview the commity of dustrubition of Djingareyber  led by the notable of Djingareyber  and voluntary of the red cross.

Each beneficiary got 250 kg of rice and 20 liter of groundnut oil , 25 kg of semolina and ½ kg of salt.

This donnation is destinated to vunerable person and elders of Timbuktu.

People of Timbuktu thanks donators for their assistance on can read in the face of beneficiary the light of happiness.

El Hadj Djitteye



When Timbuktu fell under the control of different rebel groups and jihadists important people of Timbuktu decided to create a committee of crisis. This committee was created om April 2, 2012 and is a mosaic of community which lives in Timbuktu.
The goal of that committee in the face of occupation was to be an interface of populations and the invaders.
During the occupation they had discuss big issues with the invaders such as the problem of the central electrical supply and agriculture.
While Islamic militants were ruling Timbuktu they tried to convince that committee to collaborate but the committee showed them that they would not collaborate with their ideology to rule the town. For example when the committee of crisis asked for the opening of the schools the Islamic militants gave instruction that there will be an Islamic education at the schools. However, the committee categorically refused that demand.
We interviewed Mr Mahamane Alidji Toure Vice President of the committee of crisis of Timbuktu.
We questioned him about what he thought about the future of Mali as a nation?
He said that what was going on in Mali was tough during these last ten months
“The people of Timbuktu had support and overcame all human abuses the invaders had inflicted upon us thanks to our culture which is based on tolerance.
In regards to the future of Mali, I think that we Malian cultivate peace in our hearts and I am sure that Malian will find themselves at the table of brotherhood and united again”.
The second question was about about the condition of Arabs and Tuaregs?
Mr toure said: “There is a great cohesion between different ethnic groups which live in Timbuktu”.
Afterwards Mr Toure spoke about the birth of a new Association created in Timbuktu called GABVI : (Groupe d’action pour barrer la route a l’injustice) this association will support the poor population and protect them from human right abuses.
He finished with this quote “ Timbuktu is a land of peace and culture. The people of Timbuktu will be ready to live, Arabic and Tuareg people, as brothers and sisters”

El Hadj Djitteye


Editor John H Sime