Ref. :  000037802
Date :  2014-12-08
Language :  English
Home Page / The whole website
fr / es / de / po / en

Rebuilding Timbuktu's Cultural Diversity, One eReader at a Time

Author :  GlobalVoices

Workshop participants in Tombouctou, Mali. Photo by Fatouma Harber.

Mali's Timbuktu region has long been a commercial and cultural crossroad. Songhai, Peul, Sorko, Tuareg, Bellah, Kunta, and Bérabich are longtime neighbors along the Niger River. The relationship between these cities has been under pressure since Mali's 2012-2013 civil war unleashed ethnic and religious tensions between the country's minorities. Several local NGOs are now hard at work, launching projects to help rebuild Mali's social cohesion and restore peace. This is the story of one of these projects, Living Together (“Vivre ensemble”), and its efforts in Timbuktu.

Living Together is a book club by PAT-MALI (the Program to Support the Transition in Mali), which promotes a culture of tolerance and freedom at Timbuktu's secondary schools. In late November, Living Together gathered 32 teachers from various disciplines for a training workshop about how to set up book clubs in high schools. The project hopes to procure 320 eReaders for teachers and book-club members.

What follows is a photo report by the author of these words, with images from one of the workshops described above.

The moderators of the workshop on tolerance in Timbuktu.

Considerable time and effort went into this project. There are about 4,000 ebooks dowloaded onto every donated e-reader.

An ongoing workshop with teachers.

Zineb Benalla was the team leader for most of the training workshops in Timbuktu. She is a research associate at the Arab Institute for Scientific Research and Human Sciences in Rabat, Morocco.

One participant shares his experience with members of the project.

Teachers were delighted to receive the eReaders, especially after al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb demolished all the city's libraries between April 2012 and January 2013. (The French army eventually helped remove al-Qaeda from the region.)

Participants during a teachers’ workshop in Timbuktu, Mali.

Using eReaders could lead to curious reforms in local education, possibly curbing teachers’ notorious “red pen” methods of covering text in criticism and revisions. With eReaders, some expect teachers to do more “facilitating” and “thematic leading” than before, hopefully promoting more discussion among students.

Explaining the project “Living Together” in Mali.

eReaders showcased at the workshop.

Zineb Benalla leads a workshop.

Given the city's rich cultural history and the oppressive regime it endured from 2012 to 2013, these workshops could prove to be a catharsis for many residents, still living with the trauma of Timbuktu under al-Qaeda.

Countries : 
- Mali   

Rate this content
Average of 49 ratings 
Rating 2.41 / 4 MoyenMoyenMoyenMoyen
Same author:
 flecheWho are China's political prisoners? A human rights assessment, 29 years after Tiananmen
 flecheThe death of Afonso Dhlakama: Mozambique's legendary politician and ex-guerilla leaves a legacy
 flecheEight decades later, prejudice between Jordanians and Palestinians persist
 flecheHow English-Language Pronouns Are Taught Around the World
 flecheLe Sénat mexicain adopte un nouvel outil de censure sur Internet, au mépris de la procédure parlementaire
 flecheSouth Sudan’s ‘Divide and Conquer’ Political Approach Heightens Tribal Tensions
 flecheExpand Your Movie-Watching Horizons With These 16 Films From Around the World
 flecheLes “anti-princesses” d'Argentine arrivent en Italie
 flecheMore Than 100 Ex-Political Prisoners Win Parliament Seats in Historic Myanmar Election
 flecheIn Venezuela, 140 Characters Can Land You in Jail
 flecheFacing Sweeping Surveillance Bill, French Public Falls Between Alarm and Indifference
 fleche8 Ways Climate Change Is Already Affecting Africa
 flecheMaking the Culture and Language of Peru's Nomatsigenga People Accessible and Enduring
 flecheFor Arab Human Rights Defenders, Hacking Team Files Confirm Suspicions of State Surveillance
 flecheNetizen Report: Slovakia Says Mass Surveillance is Unconstitutional
 flecheIn Bangladesh, a Mobile App Provides a Platform Where Women Can Feel Free to Talk
 flecheAfter the Charlie Hebdo Attack, Can We Laugh About Anything?
 flecheNetanyahu's Speech to Congress Was Polarizing, to Say the Least
 flecheYoung Brazilians Are Creating Radio Jingles to Promote Sustainable Amazon Development
 flecheCastro and Obama Open New Chapter on US-Cuba Relations
 flecheYoung People Will Revitalize Politics, Promises This Year’s World Forum for Democracy
 flecheA Network of Indigenous Language Digital Activists in Mexico
 flecheWith Its Headwaters Dry, Brazilians Fear the Death of the ‘Old Frank’ River
 flecheThere's an Island Made of Toxic Trash Rising Out of the Sea in the Maldives
 flecheLes Marionnettes Géantes ouvrent le débat sur les questions sociales au Mozambique
 flechePacific Islanders Plan to Block the World’s Largest Coal Port With Canoes to Protest Climate Change
 flecheThailand's Military Junta Cements Its Power With ‘Undemocratic’ Interim Constitution
 flecheBangladesh Has Formaldehyde to Thank for Its Short Supply of Mangoes This Season
 flecheRussia Offers 4 Million Rubles to Crack the Tor Network
 flecheNetizen Report: Censorship and Social Media Sneakiness Abound in Southeast Asia
 flecheThis Film Is About the Remarkable Friendship Between a Buddhist and Muslim in Myanmar. So Why All the Hate?
Keywords   go
Translate this page Traduire par Google Translate

Share on Facebook
Partager sur Twitter
Share on Google+Google + Share on LinkedInLinkedIn
Partager sur MessengerMessenger Partager sur BloggerBlogger
Other items
where is published this article: