The Renewal of Jewish Identity in
member Karen Primacks report about history
of the Jewish presence in Timbuktu and the
attempt of Zahkor, an organization led by Malian
researcher Ismael Haidara, to revive it.
If you would like to contact the community in Timbuktu, you may write to Ousmane Haidara in Bamako, Mali, brother of Professor Ismael Haidara from Timbuku, by sending an e-mail to him at: C-Mali@PLAN.GEIS.COM. You may also be in touch with Richard Gold firstname.lastname@example.org, an American who has visited the community, to ask for advice about how to make contact.
Contact Ousmane Haidara at the above address to indicate your interest in visiting Timbuktu and he will connect you with the community there. When I visited the Haidara family in Timbuktu was kind enough to welcome me into their home and share their meals with me. Though both Ousmane and Ismael Haidara speak English, few other Malians do, so you should brush up on your French.
Timbuktu is absolutely in the middle of nowhere. To get to Timbuktu, fly in to the international airport of Bamako. Round trip flights from the United States to Mali cost about $1200, though you may get a better deal depending on when you are going and where you buy you ticket (an honest discount ticket broker will save you a lot of money Ė check the Sunday New York Times travel section for deals). From Bamako you may get to Timbuktu several ways, but if you donít have three days to rumble across the desert in a 4X4 (which is how I got there) or five to take a boat down the Niger river (which is how I got back), take an airplane from Bamako.
If you are unfamiliar with traveling in Africa I recommend picking up a copy of Lonely Planetís West Africa travel guide. The Lonely Planet books are invaluable for their practical advice while youíre budget traveling in Africa. If youíre curious about prices or distances between points, consult the Lonely Planet guide and youíll get a pretty good idea of the current rates and bus timetables. If not, contact me and Iíll give you advice.
If youíre interested in helping the community with financial or other aid, contact Rick Gold email@example.com of Kulanu http://www.kulanu.org.
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