Monday, June 26, 2017

Swedish Hostage

The Swedish hostage Johan Gustavsson has been released. He was taken hostage in November 2011 in Timbuktu  together with a Dutch national and a South African National. That event marked the beginning of the end for the happy Mali I had known during the first years of my life here.
The Dutchman has been released some time ago: the Barkane forces (the French military contingent still present in the Sahel) stumbled across him by accident when they were "cleaning up" a terrorist encampment in the northern desert. It appears that he had been severely brainwashed, had converted to Islam and his reunion with his wife was not a success. Let us hope that Gustavsson has fared better. The circumstances of Gustavson's release are still unknown. I am about to call Eva to see if she has some news...he has apparently just landed at Arlanda in Stockholm. More later...

And apart from this joyful news, there has of course been Eid Al-Fitr. I went with Elisabet and Henri to the place of communal prayer behind the hospital. This is where the Djennenké men pray twice a year- now and at Tabaski- because the place in front of the Great Mosque is too small to hold them all. Yelpha officiated for the first time.
 Towards sunset I had a visitor on the terrace: Babou Tour√© from the library, resplendent  in Grand Boubou wishing me 'Sambe Sambe', the traditional greeting both now and at Tabaski.


Blogger David said...

Happy memories of Eid at the Grand Mosque, with the men of Djenne so resplendent in their boubous - how many years ago now?

9:35 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home