I spent the month of June in Senegal doing research, primarily in Dakar and partly in Medina Baay Kaolack, Ñooro, Tayba Ñaseen, Kóosi Mbittéyeen, and Daaru Mbittéyeen. The main purpose was to finish the research for my book on women in the Faydah, and thanks to my great collaborators I was able to meet and interview several woman leaders I had never met before in addition to revisiting many whom I have known for years. Some photos we took can be found here. (Photos from last year's research can be found in the Senegal 2009 set.)
Several Medina Baay Research Association members collaborated actively in the research, especially El-Hadj Abdoulaye Biteye, Cheikh Baye Thiam, Baye Laye Niang, and Alioune Seck.
Some of the woman leaders I met this year whom I had never met before include several daughters of Baay Ñas (Ndey Ayda and Nafisatu among others); Ayda Fay, the rising star (or should I say the already risen star?) in Taalibe Baay singing and dhikring; her friend Zeynabu Mbaj in Derkile (Dakar); and Buuso Draame, a former Murid in Zamzam who is famous now due to an interview she gave on television. I also saw many of the leaders I had met before, including Roqiya and Maryama Ñas, Jéynaba Géy, Ajaa Musakoro Mbay, Ayda Caam, and many others. I am very grateful to all of them for telling us their stories and inviting us to get to know their disciple communities.
I extended my trip a week so I could attend the Gàmmu (Mawlid) of Shaykh Ibrahim (Baay) Ñas in Tayba Ñaseen (Taïba Niassène). This provided an opportunity to meet many people I had not seen in a long time.Many thanks to the many people who helped in every way, especially the families who lodged me and my collaborators, particularly the relatives of El-Hadj Abdoulaye Biteye in Dakar and Baye Laye Niang in Kaolack. Thanks to Baye Ousmane Diao (Baay Usmaan Jaawo) and his community in Ñooro.