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From Timbuktu to Cape Town: The place of Arabic in Africa before and during the colonial period

Xavier Luffin
Professor Xavier Luffin teaches Arabic Language and Literature at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium).
He is a member of
the Royal Academy of Belgium and the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences. He has published several books about Arabic Literature (in French), and he has translated c. 20 books (novels, short stories, drama, poetry) from Arabic (and also Turkish and English) into French. From Timbuktu to Cape Town: The place of Arabic in Africa before and during the colonial period
Before and during the Colonial period, Arabic was widely in use in several parts of Africa, south of the Maghreb and in less expected areas like Eastern Congo, Mozambique and South Africa. Many of the documents written in Arabic or in African languages with Arabic alphabet (‘Ajami) have been preserved in archives and museums in Europe and in Africa. This lecture will give a general overview of this heritage and highlight its importance in the history of the continent as well as fostering a better understanding of the relations between Africa and the Arab and Islamic world before and during the colonial era.

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