New7Wonders of the World

Timbuktu, Mali

World Tour – Day 14 – January 9, 2007

The World Tour visited the only sub-Saharan African candidate, Timbuktu, as the first of its 2007 stops. Following a reception in the cabinet of the Prime Minister of Mali, Ousmane Issoufi Maiga, in Mali’s capital Bamako, with the Ministers of Culture, Information and Tourism present, the visit to the legendary city in the desert was very celebratory.

Many prominent officials, including the Governor of the region of Timbuktu, the city’s mayor – who received the official certificate of candidacy – and the renowned Three Imams of Timbuktu, attended to congratulate the city and call for votes from all friends of Africa. Thousands of residents also came to celebrate during a jubilant African festival that was staged to commemorate Timbuktu’s candidacy in the city’s main square.

Bernard Weber was honored with the “white turban” and honorary
doctorate by the Three Imans, together with the dean of the famous
Sankore Koran and Science University, one of the oldest Universities in
the world.During the press conference, Bernard Weber noted that many people around the world use the name “Timbuktu” to mean a very remote place. Yet the truth is that Timbuktu symbolizes many things that can make Africans proud: bringing together not only the ancient and the modern, but also influences from throughout Africa and beyond Africa. Timbuktu, with its origins at the crossroads of several major ancient trade routes, stands as a monument to tolerance. As the site of one of the world’s first universities and ancient mosques, Timbuktu wants to point Africa and the world toward wisdom and peaceful spiritual values.