Category: Mali

The Maghreb Bleeds the Sahel

Albuquerque- Last month I did an interview with the Associated Press about the long, complex history of Libya’s Khalifa Haftar (though the AP uses the transliteration Hifter) for article that was picked up by The New York Times, Washington Post,…

Renewed Conflict in Libya

New York- With Khalifa Haftar suddenly very relevant again after his initially notable reappearance in Libya in March 2011,  Libya’s littoral is once against thrust into turmoil in both Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. Haftar is leading a fight against Ansar al-Sharia and Derna-based…

Abou Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar

New York- The first images have seeped out of the Franco-Chadian battles in the Adrar des Ifoghas and the Adrar Tigharghar areas of northeastern Mali’s Kidal Region today. Both Chadian state television and al-Jazeera Arabic gained (or were given) access. Contained…

TWD Mali Media Offensive

New York- In the wake of the French military intervention in Mali late last week, I felt like it was time for TWD to kick into high gear. On Monday, I appeared on BBC Arabic’s News Hour programme from the beeb’s…

Mali in Chaos

New York- Although interest in Mali has been partly piqued in the American polity from facile, puppet-like foreign policy comments by Mitt Romney in a recent debate with President Obama, for genuine students and scholars of foreign policy Mali has been…

A Decade of War and Peace

Barcelona- Partly out of boredom and partly out of the itch to simply create something new out of old, I threw together this photo montage over the weekend. In this era of digital photography where one shoots thousands of frames…

Bamian Redux?

Barcelona- We awake today to more news that Ansar Eddine is bashing more Sufi Islamic sites in Timbuktu, this time the mosque of Sidi Yahia. Sanda Ould Bamana, Ansar Eddine’s ‘spokesman,’ has pledged that his Salafi-jihadi militia will smash every last historical…

Midnight City

Barcelona- In finishing up my tome on Mali for Jane’s it is almost preposterous how fast that story keeps progressing along an entirely negative trend line. I was knocking around google this morning as I like to do from time to time…

Djenné’s Grand Mosque

Barcelona- I threw together a short clip of my brisk tour of Djenné on the way from Sévaré back to Bamako. Djenné is one of the twin centers of medieval Islamic learning in Mail-the other being cut-off Timbuktu. I’d always…

Mali Malaise

Barcelona- Wanted to post some more images from my two weeks in the broken, beautiful Malian republic. I’ve noticed that there seem to be two black-or-white schools of thought on Mali: it is painted as either not nearly as bad as…

From Sévaré With No Love

Bamako- Back in the steaming hot Malian capital after a semi-disastrous northern excursion which resulted in me being made persona non grata in Servaré and Mopti when my fixer and I ran afoul of a rage-aholic gendarme commander. Officialdom up…

Where Do We Go From Here?

Bamako- Got my first dispatch out from from here today and trying to work on a couple of other projects concomitantly. Had a great interview today with the man above in one of the buildings of the sprawling air conditioned…

Between Histories in Bamako

Bamako- Had an overall fantastic day here yesterday. Woke up to a cool, quenching rain that felt like it brought the temperature down about 30 degrees ºF. Had a morning meeting with a local journalist who was originally from the…