Ancient Manuscripts Travel from Timbuktu to Virginia

IQOU Theological College and the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library of Timbuktu sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that includes the loaning of ancient manuscripts to the college.

IQOU Theological College plans to offer unique opportunities to study the ancient Timbuktu texts loaned as a result of the signing of the MOU.

Historic Collaboration between IQOU Theological College and Mali’s Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library

CHARLOTTE COURT HOUSE, VA, UNITED STATES, May 31, 2024 / — IQOU Theological College, a distinguished higher education institution dedicated to Islamic Studies is pleased to announce the May 27, 2024 signing of a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library of Timbuktu.

This historic agreement, signed by Sheikha Syeda Zainab Gillani, President of IQOU Theological College and Dr. Abdel Kader Haidara, founder of the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library includes the loan of an esteemed repository of ancient Timbuktu manuscripts dating before the 16th century marks a significant milestone in fostering mutual understanding and collaboration between the two institutions. Effective from May 2024 to May 2026, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) details the collaborative activities upon which the two institutions have mutually agreed.

“We’re most excited that IQOU Theological College has been granted permission to exhibit ancient Timbuktu manuscripts,” said President Gillani, “We’re only the third organization to be able to do so in the United States, so we intend to offer a unique opportunity to study the texts, revive some of the sciences contained in the pages and promote a deeper exploration of academic research and discourse on contemporary issues.” The loaning of the ancient manuscripts provides IQOU Theological College faculty and students unique access to a wealth of invaluable information and enlightenment into philosophy, mathematics, science, astronomy, history, and Islamic sciences.

Additional collaborative activities include guest lecturing, research, seminars,and professional development. IQOU Theological College and the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library also plans to facilitate the exchange of faculty, staff, and students for international study tours. Dr. Abdel Kader Haidara, the founder of the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library, has maintained an integral role in the preservation of these priceless manuscripts. Dr. Haidara’s dedication to safeguarding Mali’s rich heritage gained international recognition, particularly during the crisis of 2012 when Dr. Haidara orchestrated a daring rescue mission to save thousands of manuscripts from imminent destruction. His well-documented heroic efforts ensured the survival of centuries-old documents.

Dr. Haidara served as the keynote speaker at IQOU Theological College’s 2024 Graduation & Convocation, held in Charlotte Court House, Virginia on the beautiful lawn of its future campus. The building is historically significant as it is the former J. Murray Jeffress Elementary School, was built in 1952 during the era of segregation for “colored” students. This transformation is profound: a building originally constructed to exclude enslaved ancestors taken from West African countries is now a beacon of education and scholarship for all.

The ancient Timbuktu manuscripts provide proof of the extensive contributions of West Africa to world civilization and serve as a foundation of unity and a powerful opportunity for progress. IQOU Theological College recognizes the importance of experiential learning and seeks partnerships that align collaborative activities to benefit both organizations and their students. Through such experiential learning, students can bridge the gap between knowledge and practice, fostering an environment where academic insights translate into real-world applications.


About IQOU Theological College

IQOU Theological College is an Islamic Studies college located in Charlotte Court House, Virginia whose vision is to center students in gaining beneficial knowledge of faith and spirituality that result in living dynamic and healthy lives. IQOU Theological College currently confers degrees under a religious exemption through the State Council of Higher Education and has long-term plans to achieve full accreditation as well as the addition of secular studies.

Yasmin Abdulatheem
IQOU Theological College
+1 607-651-3069
email us here

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