Saarah Jappie, Susana Molins Lliteras and Shamil Jeppie in Timbuktu Saarah Jappie, Susana Molins Lliteras and Shamil Jeppie in Timbuktu

Shamil Jeppie: Shamil Jeppie is director of the project. He received his PhD from Princeton University. He has worked on aspects of the social history of Cape Town and Durban (Arabic Study Circle book, HSRC), South Africa, and 19th-century Sudan and founded this research project for which he is researching the formation of a culture of collecting in Timbuktu. He is also co-chair of the South-South Exchange Programme in the History of Development (Sephis) and a member of the Scientific Committee of Codesria. He serves on various platforms concerned with the development of the humanities, history and heritage in Africa and the global South.
Susana Molins Lliteras: Susana Molins Lliteras was born in Barcelona, Spain, and holds a degree from George Washington University in French and Spanish Literature. She completed a master’s in African Studies at UCT, researching the West African Tijaniyya tariqa's presence in Cape Town. In 2005 she joined the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project and has been an integral contributor to the project's events and output. Susana is currently a PhD candidate at UCT, researching the 16th-century historian Mahmud Ka’ti and his links with al-Andalus.

Mauro Nobili received his Ph.D. in “African Studies” at the University of Napoli «L’Orientale» in 2008.  He has been working for the Series Catalogorum, an Italian-French project of cataloguing Islamic manuscripts that involves the Instituto per L’Oriente «C.A. Nallino» (Roma) and the CNRS – Monde Iranien et Indien (Paris). Within this project he produced a full-scale catalogue of the De Gironcourt collection of West African Arabic manuscripts that is forthcoming this year.  In October 2011, he was awarded with a six-month «Petra Kappert» fellowship at the University of Hamburg, within the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures to develop a database of catalogues of Islamic manuscripts from sub-Saharan Africa.  He is currently post-doctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town and researcher at the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project.  His current research focuses on the Arabic script styles displayed by West African manuscripts.

Rifqah Kahn joined the team in August 2011 as a research assistant and brings much academic and professional experience to the project. She completed her Bachelors in Social Science at UCT majoring in Psychology, Sociology and Public Administration. She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with a Masters in Social Anthropology with a focus on organisations and public cultures. Her experiences span the education, development and media sectors. Rifqah's research interests include the portrayal of Muslim women in mainstream culture, how cultural and religious identities impact how communities choose to address the challenges raised by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and understanding the global and local demands currently facing the NGO sector, and how best to mediate them.

Hassen Muhammed Kawo was born in Ethiopia and became affiliated with the project in 2009. Since then, he has worked closely with the team, sharing insights into Ethiopian manuscript culture and book history. He received a Bachelor of Education in Arabic language from the College of Education of Zanzibar, Tanzania, in 2003 and also holds a Master of Arts in Arabic Philology from Addis Ababa University.  Hassen currently works as a lecturer in the Arabic Program Unit in the Faculty of Language Studies, Addis Ababa. He has presented at conferences and seminars on Islamic writing cultures and related research at a range of institutions both on the continent and internationally. Hassen intends to undertake his PhD at the University of Cape Town, to continue is research on literary history and written heritage in the Horn of Africa, Islamic education and Muslim scholars in Ethiopia.