Timbuktu Renaissance counters Mali’s jihadists



In 2012, jihadists took over this Malian city. After liberation, the threat is far from over – but artists are getting back on stage, The Guardian’s Ruth Maclean reports from Timbuktu:

Khaira Arby had been away from home for a long time, but on a Tuesday last month, she brought her music back to Timbuktu, the legendary Malian city of poetry and learning that has, in recent years, been silenced by a prolonged and complex conflict. Hers was the first of a series of monthly concerts to be put on by Timbuktu Renaissance, an organisation [supported by the National Endowment for Democracy] whose mission is to bring the town’s people back together through culture.

To strengthen democratic ideas and values and to bolster resilience against extremism, Timbuktu Renaissance aims to reinforce Timbuktu’s distinctive sense of identity, cultural heritage, and tolerance through music concerts, “ask the imam” sessions with the renowned imam of Timbuktu, and regular public discussions with community leaders.

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