tothebatfax:

nowinexile:

The Shadow The West, by Edward Said. (1986)

Edward Said focuses on the plight of the Palestinians which can be seen as the most enduring residue of the modern encounter between the Arabs and the West. Said traces the course of European involvement with the Near East via the Crusades to Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt and the French and English entrepreneurs, adventurers and empire builders who came in his wake. 

Link to the full film.

(via thepeacefulterrorist)

distant-relatives-blog:

 The University of Sankoré, or Sankore Masjid is one of three ancient centers of learning located in TimbuktuMaliWest Africa. The three mosques of Sankoré, Djinguereber Mosque and Sidi Yahya compose the famous University of Timbuktu. During the 14th -16th century, Sankore University enrolled more foreigen students than New York University today. 

The Mali Empire gained direct control over the city of Timbuktu in 1324 during the reign of Mansa Kankou Musa also known as Musa I “King of Kings”. He designed and saw the construction of one of Sankore’s first great mosques and the Jingeray Ber Masjid in 1327.The foundations of the previous structure were laid around 988 A.D. on the orders of the city’s chief judge Al-Qadi Aqib ibn Mahmud ibn Umar. A local mandinka lady, esteemed for her wealth, financed his plans to turn Sankoré into a world class learning institution. 

By the end of Mansa Musa’s reign (early 14th century CE), the Sankoré Masjid had been converted into a fully staffed Madrassa (Islamic school or in this case university) with the largest collections of books in Africa since the Library of Alexandria. The level of learning at Timbuktu’s Sankoré University was superior to that of all other Islamic centers in the world. The Sankoré Masjid was capable of housing 25,000 students and had one of the largest libraries in the world with between 400,000 to 700,000 manuscripts.

Today, the intellectual legacy of Timbuktu is neglected in historical discours. These pages of WORLD history tend to get ripped out.   

(via thepeacefulterrorist)

sarraounia:

Timbuktu hopes Ancient texts spark a revival

An old article published in 2007. By Lydia Polgreen/ The New York Times.

Ismaël Diadié Haïdara held a treasure in his slender fingers that has somehow endured through 11 generations — a square of battered leather enclosing a history of the two branches of his family, one side reaching back to the Visigoths in Spain and the other to the ancient origins of the Songhai emperors who ruled this city at its zenith.

“This is our family’s story,” he said, carefully leafing through the unbound pages. “It was written in 1519.”

The musty collection of fragile, crumbling pages, written in the florid Arabic script of the sixteenth century, is also this once forgotten outpost’s future.

A surge of interest in ancient books, hidden for centuries in houses along Timbuktu’s dusty streets and in leather trunks in nomad camps, is raising hopes that Timbuktu — a city whose name has become a staccato synonym for nowhere — may once again claim a place at the intellectual heart of Africa.

“I am a historian,” Mr. Haïdara said. “I know from my research that great cities seldom get a second chance. Yet here we have a second chance because we held on to our past.”

This ancient city, a prisoner of the relentless sands of the Sahara and a changing world that prized access to the sea over the grooves worn by camel hooves across the dunes, is on the verge of a renaissance.

The geography that has doomed Timbuktu to obscurity in the popular imagination for half a millennium was once the reason for its greatness. It was founded as a trading post by nomads in the 11th century and later became part of the vast Mali Empire, then ultimately came under the control of the Songhai Empire[…]

For centuries it flourished because it sat between the great superhighways of the era — the Sahara, with its caravan routes carrying salt, cloth, spices and other riches from the north, and the Niger River, which carried gold and slaves from the rest of West Africa.

Traders brought books and manuscripts from across the Mediterranean and Middle East, and books were bought and sold in Timbuktu — in Arabic and local languages like Songhai and Tamashek, the language of the Tuareg people.

Timbuktu was home to the University of Sankore, which at its height had 25,000 scholars. An army of scribes, gifted in calligraphy, earned their living copying the manuscripts brought by travelers. Prominent families added those copies to their own libraries. As a result, Timbuktu became a repository of an extensive and eclectic collection of manuscripts.

Photos by Candace Feit. Full story.

(via thepeacefulterrorist)

"

You work so hard, just to end up at home crying yourself to sleep; remember you’re trying, you are moving mountains that have plagued you since you were young, and you’re trying so hard.

Keep fighting, fight until you have won. Fight until you have found your way home, until the sun comes back and your heart learns to love the mornings again.

"

T.B. LaBerge // Go Now (via h-o-r-n-g-r-y)

(Source: tblaberge, via battling-yet-still-surviving)

"

Poets are liars;
they seduce you with words,
and then break your heart
with the same verses

Poets know what to say
to make you fall for them,
but they won’t love you
because poets look for muses,
not lovers

And poets are broken,
and lonely, and nostalgic;
they want to feel whole
but they crave their emptiness
because it’s living poetry

And poetry is a lie
because everything is poetry,
and when something is everything
then everything is nothing

"

Miranda Volta, Am I poetry yet? (via awkwarddly)

(via rizzlerr)

(Source: husssel, via rizzlerr)

"

You work so hard, just to end up at home crying yourself to sleep; remember you’re trying, you are moving mountains that have plagued you since you were young, and you’re trying so hard.

Keep fighting, fight until you have won. Fight until you have found your way home, until the sun comes back and your heart learns to love the mornings again.

"

T.B. LaBerge // Go Now (via h-o-r-n-g-r-y)

(Source: tblaberge, via battling-yet-still-surviving)

"I hate seeing the sadness take over you."

vufus:

"Landscape Series"

Artist: Michael Mckee

(Source: vufus, via composedofatoms)

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