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Mali 2019



Returning from Timbuktu’s grand marché, or market, a Malian woman strides past the historic Sankoré Mosque, one of three mosques with madrassas—centers of learning—that made up the renowned University of Timbuktu. Founded in 989 C.E., Sankoré’s reputation as a center for Arabic studies and sciences grew, and the growing university flourished during the 1300s. Timbuktu’s medieval manuscript legacy comes from the Sankoré library, where scholars created hundreds of thousands of manuscripts on Islam and other subjects. Through the heroic efforts of Timbuktu’s citizens, both the mosque and books survived the jihadi occupation of the town in 2012.
–Charles Eilers © 1996
PCV Nigeria and Ethiopia 1966–1969
Teacher Training

République du Mali
Western Africa

Area 770K mi²; 1,240K km²

Arable 6%

Population 18M (23/mi²; 14/km²)

Gov’t Semi-presidential republic

Capital Bamako (2.5M)

GCP/capita $ 2,200

Unemployment 8%

In poverty 36%

Wealth owned by top 10% 26%

Life expectancy 60 yrs

Infant Mortality 70/1K live births

Literacy 33%

Languages French (official), Bambara, Peul/Foulfoulbe, Dogon, Maraka/Soninke, Malinke, Sonrhai/Djerma, Minianka, Tamacheq, Senoufo, Bobo, others

Religions Muslim 95%, Christian 2%, animist 2%, none 1%

Education 4% of GDP (83rd)

Military 3% of GDP (33rd)

Labor Force Agriculture 80%, industry and services 20%

PCVs 1971–2015 CURRENT: 0, TTD: 2,645

Adult Books

Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali (Longman African Writers Revised Edition)
Retold by D.T. Niane, trans G. D. Pickett

Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Pearson; Revised Edition (2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781405849425

This is a revision of Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali, a bestseller for 30 years.
Retold by griots, the guardians of African culture, this oral tradition has been handed down from the thirteenth century and captures all the mystery and majesty of medieval African kingship. It is the epic tale, based on an actual figure, of Sundiata (Sunjata). Part history and part legend, it tells how Sundiata fulfilled the prophesies that he would unite the twelve kingdoms of Mali into a powerful empire.
This Revised Edition includes background information which provides a geographical, religious, social, and political context for the story. A ‘who’s who of characters’ and ‘a glossary of places’ will enhance the reader’s experience.

About the Author:
Born in Guinea, author and playwright Djibril Tamsir Niane is a descendant of griots—African oral historians/storytellers. He translated Sundiata, as told by the griot Djeli Mamadou Kouyate, into French under the title Soundjata ou Epoque Mandiginue in 1960. It was later translated into English by G. D. Pickett in 1965.

Kids' Books

By Whelan, Gloria; illustrated by Peter Sylvada

Format: 32 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-58536-211-0
Age Range: 5–8 years
Publisher: Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press, 2007.

Eight-year-old Yatandou helps the women of her Mali village raise enough money to buy a machine that will replace their pounding sticks.


Film: Timbuktu
Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Date of Release: 2014
Language: Tamasheq, Bambara, Arabic, French, and some English. English subtitles.
Run Time: 97 minutes

Summary (Rotten Tomatoes): Not far from the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu, now ruled by the religious fundamentalists, proud cattle herder Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed aka Pino) lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima (Toulou Kiki), his daughter Toya (Layla Walet Mohamed), and Issan (Mehdi Ag Mohamed), their twelve-year-old shepherd. In town, the people suffer, powerless, from the regime of terror imposed by the Jihadists determined to control their faith. Music, laughter, cigarettes, even soccer have been banned. The women have become shadows but resist with dignity. Every day, the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane and his family are being spared the chaos that prevails in Timbuktu. But their destiny changes abruptly in this stunningly rendered film from a master of world cinema. © CohenMedia

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