African voices in Islamic manuscripts from Mali:
A study of African languages written in Arabic-based script
(Ajami)



African languages written in Arabic script (Ajami) constitute a neglected field of African studies. Reports about the number of Ajami manuscripts in the Malian libraries range from zero to several thousands. The project “African voices in Islamic manuscripts from Mali: a study of African languages written in Arabic-based script (Ajami)” funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation sets out to assess the volume of the Ajami material and to better understand the roles played by different written African languages in the multicultural environment of Islamic West Africa.