Almajiri

I recently learned a new word. We already were familiar with “madrassa,” which is an Islamic school. An “Almajiri” is also an Islamic school. The word comes from Nigeria and specifically refers to a boarding school. Almajiris are in the news because the Nigerian military recently raided a number of schools.

This has been building up for months. President Buhari spoke against the Almajirai in speeches in June and July. There was a fanfare that quickly faltered in August, about some reforms in government schools.

But for a month now, Nigeria has been rocked by raids on private schools, almajirai, and the exposure led to additional raids, with some school owners, headmasters and teachers arrested, and other owners, headmasters and teachers on the run. It turned out that stolen children were being hidden in several almajirai, kept as slaves in shackles, and, in some cases, subjected to rape in addition to beatings.

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Bringing back our girls

No, not those girls from Chibok.   At least 150 of those girls have never been heard from.

This was 22 girls who were freed by the Nigerian military, along with 125 boys, from a “school” where they were imprisoned hostages.

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