Talib - Senegal
The term usually refers to children (males) and Boys. The Guide who instructs a Talib is named Marabout. The Daara is the place where Talibs live and study. On the floor they study, on the floor they sleep, on the floor they eat. Annexed to it there is the house where the Marabout lives with his family and it is clearly visible the difference in the treatments between Marabouts children and talibs who adore him (maybe obliged or maybe merely to attract attentions of the Marabout) According to the idea of the Marabout, Talibs learn the values of the community life like courtesy, solidarity, endurance, obedience, and humility only through the reading of the Koran. Actually, for parents, steering their own children towards the studying of the Koran is a hard task due to destitution problems, hence the Talib is usually entrusted to the Marabout by his parents at the age of Three years old, attending a school hundreds kilometres far from his originating village, in order to avoid attempts of escape caused by his incomprehension of living far from his family. The entrustment to the Marabout has no juridical bases, it is established on a habit belonging to an old and pre-existing system, whose evaluation is around two thousand children, many of them with no birth certificate, no identity. The Daara then is the only educational structure these children can live and, unfortunately, without any kind of support by their families, their communities of origin and government and very often the only way survive is begging. Huge is the responsibility of the Marabout, who must be both a muslim educator and a kind of spiritual guide. A Daara to arise or exist does not need any validation or authorization, so several of them were founded by people with no scrubs who declared theirselves Marabout with the only purpose of taking advantage of begs of hundreds children, deducing huge profits and exposing the Talibs to any sort of danger, malnutrition, bad hygienical and life conditions, abuse and mistreatments. Begging, that originally was used together with the working in fields to learn humility, today is a rule and this completely transforms the term Talib from He who searches for knowledge to he who demands, giving the term Talib the meaning of begging. The pictures were taken in the Daaras of Yene, Niangal and Toubab Dialaw, Rural community of Yene.