Photos

Photographer's Note

This was taken in Timbuktu, during a camel trek into the Sahara. Whilst I was busy climbing up great sand mounds I noticed that our guide settled down for his late afternoon prayers with great devotion. I likes the way he casts his shadow here.

You can vaguely see the city of the Timbuktu in the distant background.

Edited Note from Wikipedia:
Timbuktu is a city in Tombouctou Region, in the West African nation of Mali. It was made prosperous by Mansa Musa, tenth mansa (emperor) of the Mali Empire. It is home to the prestigious Sankore University and other madrasas, and was an intellectual and spiritual capital and centre for the propagation of Islam throughout Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its three great mosques, Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahya, recall Timbuktu's golden age. Although continuously restored, these monuments are today under threat from desertification. Timbuktu is primarily made of mud.

Timbuktu is populated by Songhay, Tuareg, Fulani, and Mandé people, and is about 15 km north of the Niger River. It is also at the intersection of an east–west and a north–south Trans-Saharan trade route across the Sahara to Araouane. It was important historically (and still is today) as an entrepot for rock-salt originally from Taghaza, now from Taoudenni.

Its geographical setting made it a natural meeting point for nearby west African populations and nomadic Berber and Arab peoples from the north. Its long history as a trading outpost that linked west Africa with Berber, Arab, and Jewish traders throughout north Africa, and thereby indirectly with traders from Europe, has given it a fabled status, and in the West it was for long a metaphor for exotic, distant lands: "from here to Timbuktu."

Timbuktu's long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization is scholarship. Timbuktu is assumed to have had one of the first universities in the world. Local scholars and collectors still boast an impressive collection of ancient Greek texts from that era. By the 14th century, important books were written and copied in Timbuktu, establishing the city as the centre of a significant written tradition in Africa.

Nobody has marked this note useful

Photo Information
Viewed: 4691
Points: 6
Discussions
Additional Photos by Huque lberry (arifhuque) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 61 W: 56 N: 52] (491)
View More Pictures
explore TREKEARTH