Timbuktu, formerly also spelled "Timbuctoo" and "Timbuktoo" (Berber: Tinbuktu; French: Tombouctou; Koyra Chiini: Tumbutu), is a city in the West African nation of Mali situated 20 km (12 mi) north of the River Niger on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. The town is the capital of the Timbuktu Region, one of the eight administrative regions of Mali. It had a population of 54,453 in the 2009 census.
- At its zenith in the middle of the 15th Century Timbuktu was known all over the world as a repository for all sorts of knowledge, including Arabic Islamic writing, science, maths and history. What is so important about Timbuktu's literary patrimony is that it is a challenge to Western ideas that Africa is a land of song and dance and oral tradition. It reveals a continent with an immensely rich literary and scientific heritage.
- Lydia Syson, an expert on Mali, quoted on BBC News, "Mali: Timbuktu heritage may be threatened, Unesco says", April 3, 2012.
- The popular statement, “From here to Timbuktu”, conjures up images of remote, distant parts of the earth. But Timbuktu is in fact a real city in the west African country of Mali.
- Kristina Chetcuti, in All the way from Timbuktu (9 July 2012)
- The ancient city of Timbuktu had known a lot of conquest and occupation in the past but people of Timbuktu are tolerant and pacifist and practice a tolerant Islam and live with tolerance toward other religions. The economy of that city is essentially based on tourist activity but since kidnapping of westerners, touareg revolution and Islamist militant invasions in northern regions of Mali there is no more tourism in the region of Timbuktu.
- Mamadou Mangara, Governor of Timbuktu, in Visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Timbuktu.
- ...he was very touched by the destruction of shrines and the burning of ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu. He ends his address by this quote “the united nations will always be with Mali.
- Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General in his address at Timbuktu quoted in "Visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Timbuktu."
- Since the liberation of the ancient city of Timbuktu by the French army “operation serval” important leaders visited the historic city all focus on development, rebuilding, and restoration of its ancient historic sites.
- In "Visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Timbuktu."
- ...the city was occupied by touareg revolutionaries and Islamist militants in 2012. During the occupation ancient city of Timbuktu was ruled under sharia law. Innocent people endured all manner of inhuman abuses and humiliation. During the occupation Islamists destroyed the identity of the people of Timbuktu, which are shrines. Among these shrines there is shrine of the saint “Sidi Mahamoud”, classified shrines of UNESCO in the world.
- In "Visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Timbuktu."
- ...with the donations of United Nations, PAM, UNICEF, and FAO people of Timbuktu are surviving because we were in an open sky prison. In the sector of school and administration we salute the efforts of the United Nations and other partners for the action they have been doing in Timbuktu.
Within the framework of peace and security we thank the United Nations, above all populations are coming back to their homeland they also need assistance, actually we are in the process of reconciliation. Malian must be united as brothers and sisters and must walk hand by hand in order to sit on the table of brotherhood without racism or extremism.
It’s important to notice [that we notable of] Timbuktu's great problems are the issues of children schooling but actually we are happy that they are going to school thanks to the support of partners. All the population of Timbuktu thank you for the opportunity you are giving to our children to study.
We also hope that the United Nations, FAO, the Oummou Sangare foundation, UNICEF continue to work together with us to overcome our difficulties.
Without peace and security there is no development in Mali. It’s for Malians to work hand by hand on the table of brotherhood and overcome their difficulties in order to develop their country no one can do that for them.
- Abdrahamane Ben Essayouti, Imam of Timbuktu, during Timbuktu’s Future discussed by local officials and visiting big wigs, quoted in "Visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Timbuktu."
- Centres of learning at Walala, Djenna, and Timbuktu had a singular impact on African education in d medieval times.
- Kwame Nkrumah at the University of Ghana inauguration in 1961, quoted in Multiculturalism and Hybridity in African Literatures (2000), p. 55
- The University of Sankore one of the foremost intellectually inspired in the world...If the University of Sankore had not been destroyed; ...If the University of Sankore had survived the ravages of foreign invasions, the academic and cultural history of Africa might have been different from what it is today.
- Kwame Nkrumah at the University of Ghana inauguration in 1961, quoted in "Multiculturalism and Hybridity in African Literatures (2000)", p. 55
- Home of the prestigious Koranic Sankore University and other madrasas, Timbuktu was an intellectual and spiritual capital and a centre for the propagation of Islam throughout Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its three great mosques, Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahia, recall Timbuktu's golden age. Although continuously restored, these monuments are today under threat from desertification.
- The World Heritage properties situated in the northern parts of Mali have been subjected to destructive attacks since they were occupied by armed rebel groups in April this year . In Timbuktu, nine mausoleums have been desecrated, including two at the Mosque of Djingareyber, the most important mosque in the town.
- ...the single most important collection [priceless manuscripts] from pre-colonial West Africa.
- Bruce Hall, in [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-21242689 Timbuktu’s treasure trove of African history (29 January 2013) on the remnant of the priceless manuscripts in Timbuktu which was once a major intellectual centre.
- The Europeans came very late to Timbuktu," says Marie Rodet, lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. For centuries, they tried to reach the place because it was a mythological place of trade and Islamic scholars. It had been described in Arab manuscripts in the Middle Ages so they knew about the history but they never reached it because the population never allowed them.
- Marie Rodet, lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, quoted on BBC News, "Who, What, Why: Why do we know Timbuktu?", April 2, 2012.
- It is a place where many, many things happened since the 12th Century. A place of knowledge... a place that tells us a lot about how great the African people were and continue to be. We need to save Timbuktu.
- The head of the mission to rebuild Timbuktu, Lazare Eloundou Assomo, quoted on BBC News, "Timbuktu damage to Mali historic sites 'underestimated'", June 11, 2013.
- The city is quite calm nowadays, even though residual criminal acts remain. On terrorist issues we bet on Serval. People rely on Serval for this kind of issue, much more than on the UN soldiers.
- Aboubacrime Cisse, president of the council of Timbuktu localities, quoted on Bloomberg, "Timbuktu Seeks Rebirth After Islamist Militants’ Destruction", March 31, 2014.