12 July 2007

Religious life in The Gambia

So this won't be a very insightful piece; I want to upload the pictures. As I've mentioned in previous posts, the 'western' style schools face competition from madrassas, although attempts are being made to integrate them into the overall educational system.

Anyway, my friend Fatim (Grade 5 at Njau) goes to Dara (Koranic classes) on the weekends. In May her class had a day of teri, or recitals, so I dropped by her village (Lebba) on my way home to Njau from Kombo. So here are a couple of pictures of the community gathered around to listen, and Fatim performing her recitation. She was a bit nervous, but did well and helped show others that you can study both.

The Gambia as a whole is some 90-95% Muslim, and our students get daily Koranic instruction in the timetable. School ends at 1:45, so that everyone can perform ablutions in time for the 2 o'clock prayer, or thereabouts. So here are a couple of pictures of the daily ritual, with the consent of the teachers. Afterwards, it acts as our ad hoc announcements forum.

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