Sunday, July 25, 2010

Have you seen Timbuktu?

The popular statement, " From here to Timbuktu." conjures up images of remote, isolated and distant parts of this earth. Very few people are aware of this ancient city's location, and fewer still ascribe any kind of civilization to this historic area. Timbuktu is located in the western African nation of Mali at the edge of the Sahara.

Timbuktu was founded by the Tuareg Imashagan in the 11th century. Whenever it started raining in the desert, the Turareg will leave their heavy goods with an old Tuareg women called Tin Abutut who stayed at the well. In the Tuareg language, Tin Abutut means "the lady with the big naval". With the passage time, the name Tin Abutut became Timbuktu.

By the 12th century, Timbuktu became a celebrated center of Islamic learning and a commercial establishment. Timbuktu had three universities and 180 Quranic schools. These universities were the Sankore University, Jingaray Ber University and Sidi Yahya University. This was the golden age of Africa. Books were not only written in Timbuktu, but they were also imported and copied there. There was an advanced local book copying industry in the city. The universities and private libraries contained unparalleled scholarly works. The famous scholar of Timbuktu Ahmad Baba who was among those forcibly exiled in Morocco claimed that his library of 1600 books had been plundered, and that his library, according to him, was one of the smaller in the city.

The booming economy of Timbuktu attracted the attention of the Emperor of Mali, Mansa Musa (1307-1332) also known as “Kan Kan Musa.” He captured the city in 1325. As a Muslim, Mansa Musa was impressed with the Islamic legacy of Timbuktu. On his return from Mecca, Mansa Musa brought with him an Egyptian architect by the name of Abu Es Haq Es Saheli. The architect was paid 200kg of gold to built Jingaray Ber or, the Friday Prayers Mosque. Mansa Musa also built a royal palace (or Madugu) in Timbuktu, another Mosque in Djenné and a great mosque in Gao (1324-1325). Today only the foundation of the mosque built in Gao exists. That is why there is an urgent need to restore and protect the mosques that remain in Djenné and Timbuktu..

In 1893, with the colonization of West Africa by France, Timbuktu was brought under the French rule until Mali received her independence in 1960. To this day, many manuscripts originating from Timbuktu can be found in French museums and universities.

The manuscripts of Timbuktu cover diverse subjects such as mathematics, chemistry, physics, optics, astronomy, medicine, Islamic sciences, history, geography, the traditions of The Prophet peace be upon him, government legislation and treaties, jurisprudence and much more.

Today, this entire African intellectual legacy is on the verge of being lost. The brittle condition of the manuscripts i.e. pages disintegrate easily like ashes, the termites, insects, weather, piracy of the manuscripts, and the selling of these treasures to tourists for food money pose a serious threat to the future of the manuscripts of Timbuktu.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Does it ever end?

Again and again there’s trouble with the Swedish trains. I don’t even know why I chanced on booking my home trip next Saturday, by train. So stupid!

This and that

bali_2 bali_3 Bali_4 Bali_5 London1_0 London3_0 riviera4 riviera7 urubad_0 urudes2 uruentrebankhela urukok_0 uruspiskok_0 uruturkossoffatrapp
Source: 25 Underbara Hem

Fill your home with second hand

… and get more for your money.

A few tips from Swedish Lantliv.

Remember to:

  • Bring cash when visiting a farm auction. And bring a chair if you feel like sitting down, which is nice when good weather.
  • Check porcelain twice. It might be damaged.
  • Gustavian furniture painted gray may be fixed to look old. Painted black has been popular for a while too, check for damages and renovations. Black is an excellent colour to hide changes.
  • Small items may switch places in boxes during show. When your box is sold perhaps you should take a second look to make sure everything is in there.
  • Don’t be too eager. At farm auctions many items may cost much more than at a city auction during autumn and winter.
  • Check where bids are starting so that your first bid automatically is the starting bid.
  • Check who you’re bidding against so no one in your family is bidding on the same item.

Good luck!

Source: Lantliv

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Guess the city

This is actually Las Vegas. Not so glamorous this way, is it?

las vegas

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Did you know?

Today, on July 20, it is exactly 41 years ago, since Neil Armstrong, Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins with Apollo 11, was the first humans ever to walk on the Moon. They landed in the area “Sea of Tranquillity”. Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours and 31 minutes on the lunar surface while Collins orbited above in the command ship.

They returned to Earth with 47.5 pounds (21.55 kilograms) of lunar rocks and landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.

The lunar module was named Eagle for the national bird of the United States, the bald eagle, which is featured prominently on the mission insignia. The command module was named Columbia for the feminine personification of the United States used traditionally in song and poetry.

After the astronauts planted a U.S. flag on the lunar surface, they spoke with President Richard Nixon through a telephone-radio transmission which Nixon called "the most historic phone call ever made from the White House."

And of course this was when Armstrong uttered the famous words: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".

launchsending live descendingarmstrong putting his first foot on the moon surface planting the flag   earth rise buzz aldrin headline july 21 far side of the moon back on earth quarantine moon landing parade in NYC

Hugs, Bettina.