4 de marzo de 2009


Tombuctú, in the middle of the dessert of Mali. Tombuctú is unreachable & misterious. The western world knew of the existence of Tombuctú only since the 19th century... but it has been a city to stop on "the Caravanes road" of Africa for centuries & centuries. 15th Century Tombuctú was a very important centre of knowledge. Today, Tombuctú has the biggest bibliotec of old Andalusian manuscripts of the world. Ismail Diadie Haidara Katy is the owner of it today. The collection began end of the 15th century, his ancestor, a very educated man, needed to flee from Toledo as things were getting difficult for the muslim population. He took his most valuable treasure with himself...400 manuscripts... which were finally deposited in Tombuctú as he settled there on his exile. His descendants, generations & generatios of them have been aware of the importance of this heritage as well as of the importance of knowledge... they have preserved it as well as increased the collection over the centuries. Generations & generations of Kati family-members... Twice the collection has been divided & disseminated, & twice the complete collection has been unified. Today they are 7000 manuscripts all of them with "notes on the sides of the pages"... very recognizable. Ismail Diadie Haidara Katy has spent 20 years travelling all through the side of the River Niger visting families, bibliothecs, catalloging it, re-unifying it...He has spent all his fortune, loosing properties & savings. He swears the collection is today re-unified but if it were not so...his sons & grandsons will maintain this task...for sure! 1990´s UNESCO knew of the existance of this important private bibliothec, Today it is protected for ever & all the knowledges contained are being investigated... In Tombuctú the official language untill the 17th century has been Spanish! Weddings & festivities are still today different from the surrounding places. In their university still they study these old manuscripts as a general discipline. Two of the principal mosques of the city have been built by an Andalusian-granadino & over 40 days a year -non stop- they read a specific manuscript of poems on the Al- Andalus past...In fact, Granada is not the last city of Al-Andalus...it is Tombuctú!

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