Rendering Ceremony of the Historic Grand Mosque in Mali; Al Bawaba

Several thousand residents of the historic central Malian city of Djenne, a UNESCO World Heritage site, took part in the annual rendering ceremony of the Grand Mosque, which will now be powered by solar electricity.  The rendering of the building with banco (a mixture of soil and water, with rice bran, shea butter and baobab powder) made by the city’s inhabitants, helps to protect the mosque from bad weather ahead of the rainy season. The Grand Mosque in the Malian city of Djenne described as “the largest adobe…

Source: Rendering Ceremony of the Historic Grand Mosque in Mali | Al Bawaba


Photos of the Week: German Asparagus, Traffic Zebras, Enormous Bear; Alan Taylor; Atlantic

The Great Mosque of Djenne in Mali, pet rescue in flooded Quebec, the NRA Fashion and Firearms show in Indiana, a giant “spider” in New York, an attempted uprising in Venezuela, a tornado in Romania, and much more…

Source: Photos of the Week: German Asparagus, Traffic Zebras, Enormous Bear

Mali: Thousands take part in annual Grand mosque plaster; AFP

The city of Djenne in Central Mali has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 1988.

Source: Mali: Thousands take part in annual Grand mosque plaster

Technology in sub-Saharan Cultures; Khaleel Shaikh; The Muslim Times

Genetic and paleontological findings have concluded that Africa is the birthplace of the entire human race. Africa is often thought of as a continent rich in natural beauty and…

Source: Technology in sub-Saharan Cultures

25 Attractions People Need To See ASAP (Because They Won’t Exist In 2030); Yasmin Purnell; The Travel

Tick them off the bucket list while you can…

Source: 25 Attractions People Need To See ASAP (Because They Won’t Exist In 2030)

British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme sheds new light on the history of Africa and Islam; Nick Leech; The National 

Beyond Timbuktu: Preserving the Manuscripts of Djenne, Mali is a new initiative from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme…

Source: British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme sheds new light on the history of Africa and Islam 

See the Striking Earthen City of Timbuktu

This West African city—long synonymous with the uttermost end of the Earth—was added to the World Heritage List in 1988, many centuries after its apex.Timbuktu was a center of Islamic scholarship under several African empires, home to a 25,000-student university and other madrasahs that served as wellsprings for the spread of Islam throughout Africa from the 13th to 16th centuries. Sacred Muslim texts, in bound editions, were carried great distances to Timbuktu for the use of eminent scholars from Cairo, Baghdad, Persia, and elsewhere who were in residence at the city. The great teachings of Islam, from astronomy and mathematics to medicine and law, were collected and produced here in several hundred thousand manuscripts. Many of them remain, though in precarious condition, to form a priceless written record of African history. Read more here.

Source: See the Striking Earthen City of Timbuktu

Malian jihadist handed over to ICC on war crimes charges; AFP

Mali – Timbuktu

A Malian jihadist was arrested Saturday and handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face war crimes charges for the destruction of Timbuktu and sex slavery, the tribunal said.

Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud was detained by the Malian authorities and has now arrived at the tribunal’s detention centre in The Hague, the court said in a late-night statement.

The 40-year-old is alleged to have been a member of the Al-Qaeda linked Ansar Dine and the de facto chief of the Islamic police from April 2012 to January 2013.

He faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the destruction of the holy shrines of Timbuktu between 2012-2013 as well as accusations of rape and forced marriage.

Hassan allegedly “participated in the policy of forced marriages which victimised the female inhabitants of Timbuktu and led to repeated rapes and the sexual enslavement of women and girls,” the court said in a statement.

Read more from source: Malian jihadist handed over to ICC on war crimes charges

Meet the scientists immortalizing African heritage in virtual reality; Chris Giles; CNN

Mali – Old Towns of Djenné

(CNN)The archaeological wonders of the world offer a rich window into the past. But many are crumbling, weed-laden and victim to vandalism and conflict.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as those in Libya and Mali, have been caught in the crossfire of regional disputes.
Concerned with the decay of African heritage sites, The Zamani Project, based at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is seeking to immortalize historic spots in three-dimensional, virtual reality-ready models.
Professor Heinz Ruther steers the project. He ventures up and down the continent — visiting Ghana, Tanzania, Mali, Ethiopia, Kenya and elsewhere — recording in remarkable detail the structure and condition of tombs, churches and other buildings.
“I’ve seen how sites are deteriorating visibly,” Ruther told CNN.
The project’s aim is to build a database of complex, lifelike 3-D models. Presently, they’ve mapped around 16 sites.

Nuclear Disarmament and the Protection of Cultural Heritage; Patricia Lewis; Chatham House

Mali – Old Towns of Djenné

States possessing nuclear weapons should be called upon to consider and publish the risks posed to cultural heritage, and their mitigation strategies, in their nuclear-weapons doctrines and policies.


  • Renewed risk assessments for nuclear weapons and policies are taking place around the world in light of nuclear modernization and the changing geostrategic environment that is making the use of nuclear weapons more likely. As such the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons and tests have received increased attention. However, the effect on cultural heritage has so far been neglected.
  • The potential for armed conflict to destroy cultural heritage has been recognized in international law since 1954. There is significant evidence on the impact of nuclear weapons on cultural heritage including the consequences of their use in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the effect of nuclear-testing programmes in places of cultural significance since 1945.

Read more