Sunday, July 28, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Thank God for Night and Day
Yesterday was a Bad Day. As usual I got up with the best of intentions, glad that it was a new day in which to have another go at being kind to my employees and those in the library team. But this plan invariably breaks down. It is harder just now since it has been full moon which affects me badly, and I am also rather stressed out because I am leaving in less than a week and have a lot to get done. The Library project is in its final days. I went in to check the progress and found that one detail on the excel document describing the manuscripts- the physical measurements- had been totally ignored by the team. They have less than a week to fill in the whole lot! Two years of measurements! ‘Oh, but it is not very important, is it?’ ventured Mohammed. ‘You bet it is.’ I snapped with some emphasis.
‘ If you don’t do it, I will have to spend the whole of September at the British Library filling it in, and I have other plans!’
Take tomorrow for instance: the EU Election Observers arrive to Hotel Djenne Djenno- one from Italy and one from Sweden. Election is almost here and this time it is really quite exciting and full of possibilities. I have given my guesswork below, but there could be enormous surprises!
Friday, July 19, 2013
Oh! How could I forget...
There is of course the cuddly astrophysicist!
Cheick Modibo Diarra; ex-NASA space programme; ex-interim Prime Minister, who fulfilled that position admirably until he was kicked out in unclear circumstances, probably not reflective on his performance or character. He would be my second choice. He has spent long in the US and is au fait with the all-important Baby element in election tactics.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
The Making of the King
In Bamako again to send off MaliMali merchandise.
A 14-hour journey on the Bani bus from the Djenne Carrefour conveyed me once more to the capital, not without a couple of breakdowns on the way. The country is gripped by election fever. I am asking everyone if they have collected their Carte Nina – a requirement to be able to vote. Virtually everyone I ask has done so. It seems as if the turn-out will be quite high (amongst those able to vote...) An argument broke out on the bus between supporters of IBK and Sumaila Cisse (above)
Monday, July 08, 2013
Wimbledon, Election campaign and Kidal
Monday, July 01, 2013
Manuscripts and Voting...
There is trouble brewing with regards to the elections. My dear friend the journalist Levy went to pick up his ‘Carte Nina’ the other day here in Djenne. This is the identity card necessary to be able to vote in the forthcoming Presidential elections on 28th of July. But no, there was no card available for him. He was told that he would have to wait until the next elections! Now, Levy is exactly the sort of Malian that absolutely has to be given his chance to vote! Passionately concerned about the future of his country, vocal and encouraging others to seize their chance to exercise their democratic right to vote, he has been told ‘ No, sorry , there has been a mistake, we can’t find your registration’.
And that is not all: there are 360 000 people who are now 18 years old, and therefore have the right to vote, but cannot. Why? Because they never had the chance to register. The registration took place in 2011, for the forthcoming 2012 elections which never happened, as we know too well. These young people were too young to vote in 2012, but not now! So, the arithmetic is worrying to say the least: out of 7 000 000 people who theoretically should be able to vote, there are already 1 527 000 that cannot! And that is before we even start talking of the displaced population of the north, whose voting possibilities will be very difficult to secure. In a population which has never exceeded 30% at the ballot boxes, it may raise questions of legitimacy for the president that is voted in, and that can turn spark further unrest.
Of course. Democracy and elections are always right. Just look at Egypt!