SENEGAL NEWS TICKER NO. 2

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OK. That's it. I have arrived in Thiès and believe it or not it's almost 40° Celsius. I haven't lived here before, but my biz partner lives here (70 km from Dakar), and by staying in his house I don't pay any hotel and we can work no problem. Internet is only available by using a USB connection stick, but I get connection speeds of 500K/sec, so that's ok as well.

 

People are as friendly as ever. When a kid enters the house, it shakes hands, no matter how old it is. They value respect for the elders very highly, and when it's time to eat, everyone sits around a big plate on the floor and takes his share. 

 

We have very heavy discussions as we had before about no matter which subject, be it politics, society, religion (they are Muslim) or whatever comes to mind. I mean I haven't seen my partner for 11 years,but it felt like a coming home. Just yesterday we had a talk about how the West treats its elders. In Africa, nobody would even think of putting them into retirement homes. They stay with the family until they die, everything else would be impossible.

 

Talk about whose society is mentally more developed.....

 

Friday we'll drive down to the beach where I have my piece of land to check how and eventually when we can start building our own little office there. I mean, working by laptop on the beach is not the worst of choices. But before, we'll get our temporary office in Dakar running. Building our own won't happen before 2018 or even 2019,

 

Ba beneen (bye for now) :-)

Comments

Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 5, 2017 - 1:36pm
Good to hear Stone. Always enjoy your updates. Ba beneen.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Apr 5, 2017 - 2:00pm
Thanks Jeffry.
 
I guess I will put on weight here. They eat a LOT ;-)
Ric Wells Added Apr 5, 2017 - 2:29pm
Onward upward inward outward always progressing.
EXPAT Added Apr 5, 2017 - 6:33pm
Stone. It is probably too soon to ask, but will you get a chance to visit Touba? To me it is the most interesting place in Senegal.
Probably few readers here understand that Islam in Senegal is different than anywhere else. The Sufi version of Islam is by far the most interesting, and the Great Mosque of Touba, has long been of interest to me. If you get there, please make another video as before.
Wishing you well in your endeavors!
EXPAT Added Apr 5, 2017 - 6:41pm
By the way, is your partner,  Xaadir (Qadriyya), Tijaan (Tijaniyya), or Mouride. I have read some of the writings of Amadou Bamba.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Apr 6, 2017 - 7:39am
Expat
 
I was in Touba once. This time I doubt that we have the time. My partner is Tidiane how we say here. Thanks for asking. You know a lot !
 
EXPAT Added Apr 6, 2017 - 2:37pm
A long time ago, I studied the Rosicrucian Society. Their practices and philosophy incorporate many Sufi teachings. That is why I read some of Amadou Bamba's writing's. As a musician, perhaps you know some of his music.
You don't mention your family, are they with you?
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Apr 7, 2017 - 5:07am
Expat
 
No. They're in Switzerland. This is more or less a business vacation, and we wouldn't have the money to bring 4 people down here. I'm constantly meeting possible future partners and it looks really promising. The upcoming post as representant of the Swiss-African chamber of commerce opens many doors for us :-)
 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Apr 7, 2017 - 5:09am
BTW: I'll check Amadou Bamba. Sounds interesting, thanks !
EXPAT Added Apr 11, 2017 - 7:22am
Just a hint. Amadou Bamba was the Gandhi of Africa. But never got the recognition of the western world.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Apr 11, 2017 - 8:36am
Expat
 
I just told my bit partner about your remark. He simply laughed about it and meant that's another league LOL
 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Apr 11, 2017 - 8:39am
He was a Sufi but only one of many. He was a Mouride leader but there were others with way more diciples and influence. My partner Aliou is a Talibe.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Apr 11, 2017 - 8:52am
Sorry he's a Tijaniyyah diciple he says. I'm no expert on this and can't paste on my crappy phone. Please google yourself :)
EXPAT Added Apr 11, 2017 - 6:58pm
FYI.
The Mouride brotherhood was begun by Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba (also known as Ahmed Ben Mohammed Ben Abib Allah or Khadimou Rassoul). Bamba was born in the village of Mbacké-Baol and lived from 1850 to 1927. The son of a marabout from the Xaadir brotherhood, Bamba was a mystic and ascetic more interested in meditation and Koranic study than in building a theocratic empire. He was also a pacifist and did not wage war on pagans as many Tijaan marabouts had done. In the first years of his religious career, Amadou Bamba had simply performed standard maraboutic functions such as teaching the Koran and preparing amulets for his followers.
Bamba did not consider himself a prophet but rather a messenger of God (one of the basic tenets of Islam is that there can be no other prophets after Muhammad, but the members of the Senegalese brotherhoods cite a passage in the Koran which states that God will send messengers every 100 years. The members of these brotherhoods believe that the founders of the brotherhoods were among these messengers). Because of his extraordinary charisma and wisdom, Bamba found that many of his followers were coming to him to partake of his baraka and to serve him rather than to learn the Koran. Although Amadou Bamba never proselytized on a national level, his fame grew rapidly through the efforts of his followers, and people flocked to him to receive the salvation that he promised his followers. The focus of his teachings was that salvation was gained through submission to the marabout and hard work.

The French colonial government feared that Amadou Bamba was gaining too much power and might be in a position to wage war against them. Although he apparently never demonstrated any such desire, he had converted various local kings and their followers and could have raised a great army had he so desired. Without bringing any legal charges against Bamba, the colonial government sentenced him to exile in Gabon (1895 to 1902) and then to Mauritania (1903 to 1907). The effect of these exiles, however, were quite the opposite of what the French expected: legends about Bamba's miraculous survival of torture, deprivation, and attempted executions spread through Senegal while he was gone, and thousands more disciples flocked to his community.
To this day, Mourides tell legends of Bamba's exile with great excitement and firm belief. For example, while on the ship to Gabon, the French forbade Bamba from praying. As praying was a divine law that he could not break, Bamba broke out of the shackles, leapt overboard and prayed on a prayer rug that he materialized on the water. When he lifted his head after his prostrations, the French authorities were astonished to see sand on his forehead. Other legends relate that when the French put him in a furnace, he simply sat down in it and drank tea with Muhammad. When they put him in a den of hungry lions, the lions just slept beside him.

Pilgrims at mausoleum of Cheikh Amadou Bamba, Touba Mosque
After he returned to Senegal from his second exile, his discipleship continued to grow phenomenally. In 1910, it finally dawned on the French that Bamba was not plotting war against them and their relations with him improved dramatically. The French actually began to see Bamba as an asset rather than as a threat, as they could use him to disseminate and enforce policies (he won the French Legion of Honor in 1918 for enlisting hundreds of followers to fight in the First World War). The French allowed him to found his holy city of Touba and, in 1926, to make a start on the great mosque in which he is buried (Bamba received his famous vision in the wilderness in what is now Touba. This vision told him of his prophetic mission and of the need to build a holy city at the site).
Even though Amadou Bamba seems to have been modest about his divine call, Mourides today view him as almost Muhammad equal (thereby causing extreme consternation from other Muslims, who consider this blasphemy.) Mourides distinguish themselves through complete dedication to Amadou Bamba and the lineage of marabouts that have followed him. The male descendants of Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba are considered great religious authorities (marabouts) in Senegal, and the current father of the Mourides is one of his descendants. Devout Mourides cover the walls of their home and workplace with pictures and sayings of their marabout and wear numerous amulets prepared by their marabouts, to solve their problems. Taxi and bus drivers also plaster their vehicles with stickers, paintings and photos of the marabouts of their respective brotherhoods. The Baay Fal, the most devout group of Mouride disciples, even give up the pillars of Islam, including prayer and fasting, to devote themselves to service to their marabout.
Many Mourides consider Touba, the holy city of Amadou Bamba, as important or more important than Mecca. Pilgrims come to Touba at any time, but the hi
EXPAT Added Apr 11, 2017 - 7:01pm
Many Mourides consider Touba, the holy city of Amadou Bamba, as important or more important than Mecca. Pilgrims come to Touba at any time, but the high point of the year is a mass pilgrimage called the Grand Màgal (48 days after the Islamic New Year), which celebrates Bamba's return from exile. At this time, about half a million Mouride followers flock into Touba from all over Senegal and Gambia. The mother of Amadou Bamba, Mam Diarra Bousso, is also considered a holy person by Senegalese people and her burial shrine is located in the city of Porokhane. Twice each year, on a date decided by the Bousso family, many thousands of Senegalese women visit the shrine for a two-day pilgrimage.
The Tijaan brotherhood has its great mosque in the city of Tivaouane (50 kilometers northeast of Dakar on the road to St. Louis). The Tijaan brotherhood has more followers than the Mouride brotherhood but, in terms of organization, discipline and its capacities for mobilization and economic entrepreneurship, it has much less influence. The Tijaan mosque in Tivaouane is the second most visited pilgrimage site in Senegal.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:37am
Wow. Thanks for that !

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