Saturday, June 11, 2016

WednesdayJune 8

I should remind readers that I am attending what is referred to as a seminar---titled: Senegal: Religion and Diversity in West Africa. As someone who teaches business, and who has classes that are increasingly diverse(sometimes 25% Muslim), I felt this was something I could learn from. I've also always been intrigued by Senegal---in my first months in DC, I had a colleague who taught computer science from here.

As I've stated previously, our two leaders are Professors at the African Studies center at Boston University--Fallou Ngom, an anthropologist with a passion for Ajami, Arabic script that is transformed to write in local languages---and Tim Longman, a political scientist who is focused on conflict management in places like Rwanda. The focus of this trip is to get down deep into why Senegal has no real religious violence, despite being 95% Sufi( a type of Sunni) Muslim.

To be brief, there are 4 Sufi brotherhoods here--the Tiganiyya, thought to be the largest, the Quadriyya, the oldest; the Layeniyya, and finally the most intriguing and fastest growing----the Mouridiyya. The Mourides were a brotherhood founded by Sheikh Amadou Bamba, uniquely charismatic figure with a history forged in resistance to colonialism. On Wednesday we actually got to meet the Caliph of the Mosque at Djourbel, Mbaye Ngirane. Amazing experience. Photo of him next. More on this trip soon as well hopefully. They have us running around without a lot of time to reflect or write here.

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