Constructed from the very earth on which it stands, Timbuktu’s oldest mosque is at the heart of daily life in the ancient city, loyally maintained by the proud descendants of its original builders
Just as a public clock might establish the rhythm of some towns and cities, the Djinguereber mosque has set the time for nearly 700 years. Only recent attention on northern Mali – including a 2012 Jihadist occupation – has disrupted the gentle routine built around five prayers a day and an annual “restoration week” that triggers a DIY frenzy in the city’s homes.
“We have not had to do major patching up since 2006 when the Aga Khan’s restoration programme began,” says the Djinguereber muezzin, Mahamane Mahanmoudou. “But I can see some small cracks now. We will have to do some work this year,” says the 77-year-old, who is also mason-in-chief of the mosque.
Djinguereber remains a marvel of architecture where you feel the greatness of God and Islam in your soulContinue reading...