Timbuktu Foundation for Research and Education launched in Gambia

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By: Basidia Drammeh

On December 23, 2023, the Timbuktu Foundation for Research and Education was launched in a grand ceremony at the Islamic Institute in Brikama. The ceremony was attended by several prominent academic and religious figures who came together to celebrate the launch of the Foundation.

Sheikh Khaled Drammeh, Vice-Principal of the Brikama Islamic Institute, welcomed the attendees and praised the Director-General of the Timbuktu Foundation for Research and Education, Professor Alhagi Manta Drammeh, for his efforts in promoting education in Gambian society.

The financial officer of the Foundation, Mr. Ebrahim Drammeh, shared the history and objectives of the Foundation, emphasizing its importance in promoting education and cultural pluralism.

Dr. Muhammad Al-Amin Sillah, on behalf of the President of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council, expressed his appreciation to the founder of the Timbuktu Foundation, Professor Alhagi Manta Drammeh, and those in charge of the institution. He reiterated that the council’s doors are always open to them.

Mr. Kebba Trawally, a close friend of the founder, talked about Professor Drammeh’s illustrious academic career and professional achievements in Malaysia and the United Kingdom.

Professor Drammeh thanked the school administration for hosting the ceremony in his speech. He thanked his mentor, the late Sheikh Banding Drammeh, who raised and educated him. He gave a detailed account of how the concept of the institution came into being over two decades ago and how it was subsequently registered in the UK in 2011.

the founder of the Timbuktu Foundation, Professor Alhagi Manta Drammeh

He highlighted the Foundation’s commitment to fostering positive relationships with academic institutions both within and outside the country, offering scholarships to talented students, and promoting and facilitating research and writing among scholars.

Professor Drammeh explained that Timbuktu is an ancient historical city in Mali that is considered a significant Islamic country. He remarked that Timbuktu was like Oxford in England or Harvard in the USA for hundreds of years, and scholars came from Europe and Africa to study.

He further explained that ancient Mali was larger than the current Mali and was called the Islamic State in Mali. Professor Drammeh elaborated that the naming of this institution after Timbuktu seeks to remind people that scholarship has existed in Africa for thousands of years.

Other speakers included prominent writer Imam Yahya Sillah and Guest of Honour Imam Baba Abubacarr Drammeh, former Gambia Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They emphasized that launching the Timbuktu Foundation for Research and Education marks an important historic milestone in promoting education and cultural pluralism in The Gambia.

The ceremony was concluded by Sheikh Abdul Latif Drammeh, Principal of the Islamic Institute in Brikama, who prayed for the institution and its officials.

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