Other early documents from the 17th and 18th centuries survive in Wolof, Fulfulde and Hausa. By this time, however, Ajami began running headlong into the Latin-based scripts of European languages imposed by colonial administrators who viewed Ajami as nonsense at best and a threat to their authority at worst.
To understand ajami one must know the Arabic script, the African language, and the system of transcription. By now, it has been used continuously for more than 1, years.
Cooper, a former national editor of The Boston Globe, is a freelance journalist. The Syrian rebels are mostly Sunni, so they are supported by foreign Sunnis, such as the Saudis and the Muslim brotherhood.
How many had simply been missed, or ignored? In the face of such cultural attacks, Ajami indeed became precisely what the colonial governments feared: For the last five years, Ngom has been plodding away at his research on Ajami literature in Senegal. Many are religious, she ajami writing a cover, but not all: Under his leadership sincethe African Languages Program has been a pioneer in offering instruction in both Ajami and Latin scripts.
In Turkish, there ajami writing a cover many documents and letters that used Ajam to refer to Persian. Ajami was often used for pedagogical purposes, especially communicating an understanding of Islam to non-literate members of the society such as women, slaves, children, peasants etc.
Traders would record business transactions in Ajami, while other people would write secular poems or compile medical encyclopedias of indigenous treatments.
In addition to a kind of literacy enfranchisement, Ngom and others also feel that a wider understanding and recognition of Ajami could shed light on whole new chapters of African history, told from local points of view, which have yet to be examined by scholars outside the region.
For members of African societies where oral tradition predominated, Arabic was the first written language to which they had been exposed. Nevertheless, Ajami remains a kind of orphaned script, abandoned not only by secular authorities but also by conservative religious ones.
Ajami script had been widely used across Africa for day-to-day writing in a dozen languages, and Ngom knew those writings had been largely overlooked in the official story of the continent - in part because so few historians could read them.
But officially speaking, it has also been widely ignored. In the texts in this gallery, Fallou Ngom has combined these skills across four languages spoken in West Africa and especially in Senegal. In the future, the program plans to teach Swahili and Amharic, the language of Ethiopia, in Ajami.
Ajami manuscripts generally fall in two major categories: He says he has already found an information-rich genealogy written in Ajami that goes back to the 12th century, and that other Ajami texts include Islamic edicts, business records, eulogies, letters from rulers, legal documents, and poems.
He proudly associates the script with heritage. Historically, Arabic was used in Muslim societies of Africa for communicating outside of the ethnic group and for dealing with most theological, legal, and broader historical issues.
In many cases in Africa today ajami is spreading, especially through the print, radio, TV and electronic media. Ajami also served those engaged in internal struggles.
Some of this misclassification may have even been intentional. While all three wrote in their native languages, the scripts they employed each bore a close resemblance to Arabic. It is also used as a surname. Ngom was struck by the irony: Some say that since the script was used primarily to record everyday, local concerns such as business deals and cultural practices, it is unlikely to be the source of significant new revelations.
In Koranic schools that espoused Africanized versions of the religion, Ajami displaced Arabic, to the displeasure of traditionalists. Written in Tamasheq, the language of the largely nomadic Tuaregs, it is a pharmacopeia.
Not all scholars of Africa agree that the impact of Ajami studies will be so continental.
The story of Ajami is intertwined with the stories of how Islam came to Africa some 13 centuries ago and how European colonization followed a millennium later.
Therefore intellectuals within each community devised systems of transcribing African languages with modified Arabic scripts which formally or informally could be taught thereby allowing speakers to learn to write, read and recite ajami texts.
Clinic sign While some literate members of Muslim societies such as religious leaders wrote exclusively in Arabic, others wrote in Arabic as well as ajami, and chose the medium in relationship to the subject matter and intended audience.
It probably also reflected a desire to put some cultural traditions in writing, and to have a practical mode of written communication. Ngom realized that this was more than just a touching personal moment. Traversing these famed, trans-Saharan trade routes on the only creature suited to such a journey— the camel—Muslim merchants came in search of gold, ivory, kola nuts and slaves to exchange for salt, copper and textiles.
They have been led as animals, exploited to satisfy every need, going up and down, without knowing the reason why!In The Syrian Rebellion, Fouad Ajami offers a detailed historical perspective on the current rebellion in Syria/5. Much as the Latin-based alphabet is used to write many languages, including English, Ajami is not a language itself, but the alphabetic script used to write a language: Arabicderived letters to write a non-Arabic—in this case, African—language.
‘Ajami’ passed over at Oscars JTA | Mar 8, | Arts Israel’s half-century jinx at the Oscars continued Sunday night, as “Ajami” was passed over for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. "Ajami" (or a'jami) comes from the Arabic word for foreigner or non-Arab sometimes used to refer to a Persian.
It has come to be applied to documents written in a variety of languages, with each language using a modified Arabic script.
 In the Western Asia, it was generally applied to the Persians, while in al-Andalus it referred to speakers of Romance languages - becoming "Aljamiado" in Spanish in reference to Arabic-script writing of those languages - and in West Africa refers to the Ajami script or the writing of local languages such as Hausa and Fulani in the Arabic alphabet.
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