Djim Othman Drame started studying the Holy Quran at young age in his family’s house before joining the school of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Saghir Louh in Koki, Senegal. After that, he joined the French Arabic School in Dakar. In 1990, he travelled to Egypt and received his second education certificate at Al-Azhar Secondary School, Alexandria, in 1991. Then, he joined the Department of Arabic Language, Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, Al-Azhar University, and graduated from it with a bachelor degree. He taught Arabic at the Islamic Institute, Dakar between 2002-2014. He is a member to the national committee for rewriting the general history of Senegal.
Drame returned to Senegal and joined the Higher School for Teacher Training, and received his qualification certificates to teach at both preparatory and secondary schools. He enrolled at the Arabic Department, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dakar University, Dakar, and received a license and a bachelor degree in literature. He joined the UNESCO Chair for Educational Sciences at the Faculty of Sciences and Technologies of Education and Training, and received a Master’s degree. He continued his research in linguistic and civilizational studies at the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, and discussed a PhD thesis.
He authored several works, including Arabic Islamic Education in Senegal: Koki School (in French), and A Pioneer of Arabic Islamic Education in Senegal: Sheikh Ahmad Al-Saghir Louh, Founder of Koki Modern School (in Arabic).
Abstract title: Arabic-Script Heritage Centres in Black Africa: Manuscripts Department, University of Dakar, Senegal: Case Study
There is no doubt that heritage is one of the most important things that should be maintained and preserved. It sometimes represents the records of a whole nation, shedding light on its history, glory and characteristics. The Islamic civilization is known to have made significant contributions to enriching human thought. Muslim scholars understood the meaning of the Quranic verse “Nun. By the pen and what they inscribe”. So they started writing and authoring books. Old explorers such as Abdallah Al-Bakri, Ibn Hawqal, Yaqut al-Hamawi, Ibn Battuta, and others, played a key role in highlighting Islamic heritage, especially in western Africa. I would like to contribute to the research on Arabic-Script Manuscripts in Black Africa by shedding light on the Manuscripts Department, Fundamental Institute of Black Africa, University of Dakar, which plays a vital role in preserving our Arab and Islamic heritage through efforts aimed at collecting, studying and publishing this heritage.
This paper will cover several points, including the causes of preserving our Arab and Islamic heritage and how the French colonialism paid attention to Islamic heritage (manuscripts) in western Africa for special purposes, leading to the creation of the Fundamental Institute of Black Africa in the first half of the past century, and the establishment of the Manuscripts and Islamic Studies Department. The paper will also look at the division of manuscripts at our Department into collections, indicate their age and some famous and important works among them, look at the development and use of manuscripts after Senegal’s independence, and the problem we face in relation to preserving manuscripts. The paper will conclude by highlighting the importance of our Arabic-script manuscripts and the attention they receive from scholars.