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The persons with whom I have spend all my time in the last two and half month have accompanied me to the airport.
Ibrahim, Ali and his daughters.

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My last sight while we are taking off is for my friends left on the ground.

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Timbuktu, the city mythic since hundreds of years, reveals from the sky its dimention of a big village in the desert

 

I leave my heart with my friends, although I am happy to go back home, now that the work has been completed.

Timbuktu is indeed a special place, there is a continuous procession of foreign delegations and important people. Presidents like Chirac and Khaddafi, ministers from Mali and all Africa, religious leaders like the imam of Mecca.
All of them come to Timbuktu in search of something that people who govern need.
What do they want from Timbuktu?
I have asked one day this question to different people without obtaining a satisfactory reply.

There is definitely a secret in Timbuktu.

Ali, Ibrahim and myself have been a team for 2 month. Our only goal was to complete the construction of the well. We have faced together difficulties and doubts, the avidity and the superstition of the people.
We have worked against a system of wasting and of corruption solidly rooted in Timbuktu, where the high jacking of charity funds is sophistically organized.

We have undergone for this work betrayals and desertions, and we mustered up courage to each other by turn in the difficult moments, reminding one to the other that we were working for God.

At the end we have overcome all the obstacles and we have succeeded, and our effort has been accepted. This has united us as brothers in arms are united.

A month after my return, the news that reach me are elating. The people flock to the well and they ask Ali to thank me when he will talk with me. All the wells of the zone are dried up now that the heat has arrived and the underground water level has dropped one meter, as it does every summer.

The well unites 2 administrative fractions of Timbuktu. That is about 500 persons. I have provided Ali with the natural medicines to permit him curing all of them for a full year. The desert Tuaregs have taken confidence in his medicines and his ambulatory is always full of patients.

The handicapped women have realized the value of Ali’s medicines, although they were initially contrary to my offer to pay for their cures (they would have preferred having cash money). Ali goes to them with my motorcycle that I have left to him when they are ill (handicapped people have great difficulty to move around in Timbuktu).

The gravely sick people that I have left behind, those for whom the hospital could do nothing, are getting better in a stunning way. Ali is really a healer with a gift.

Small Baba has entered in the school and he likes studying very much. We have paid for his school year and we have bought him a second dress so that he will always be clean at school.

Ibrahim has had several contracts for supervising the building of new wells in the desert. He attributes this good fortune to the blessing of our effort in rebuilding the dry well, work in whitch he has put all his soul.

This work that we have done in Timbuktu has changed the life in better for many people. Aseed has been planted that grows strong. We are happy.

Often in our lives we endeavor to do a good action, but the result is not what we hoped.
This happens when there was not the purity of the intention at the beginning, or when the intention was not applied scrupulously.
When success happens, it is only because our effort has been accepted by God, and this is really the greatest reward, because purity of intention needs that the good action is not done for the sake of a person but for the sake of God.
If you do a good thing to the people for the sake of the people you will be always disillusioned by the people, because of their ungratefulness, or of their imperfections that will make you at some point doubt even that they deserve your effort.

If instead of that you endeavor to do good to the others only to satisfy God, who loves good, He will not disillusion you and He will sustain you in a way that no obstacle will stop you.

AbdesSalaam Attar

Aprile 2007

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