When Touareg children arrive in the public Malian schools, they are soon confronted by an administration that refuses to see the realities our people subjected. The youngsters are subject to racism and marginalisation every day at school.
A few of us who attended the private school of Tinzawaten, initiated by the Tuareg elite and financed by European and French funds, followed the road led to Tamikrest.
The rebellion of 23rd of May 2006, caused by the nonapplication of the peace treaty of 1992, shows the tragedy that my people undured since the French colonisation. Because of the rebellion, many families had to flee, and the children were forced to quit school.
Tamikrest, which means in Tamasheq "Union" and "Knot", was created following these events. Our hope is to have the world listen to our revolutionary songs, which reflect the harsh life conditions that our people endure. Tamikrest also sings the desert - so fundamental for the Tuareg - praises of love, beauty, and the goodness of nomadic culture.
Rebel Kidal is the name, sometimes given to the capital of the 8th region of Mali, also called "Azawad". In this dry and barren northern region, living conditions are difficult: No river, no asphalt roads, and the recently built hospital of Kidal is and empty shell. People must travel over 300km to have a tooth removed or an x-ray done. The popualtion are mostly "Kel Tamasheq" (Touaregs) also known as the "Kel Adagh" (those of the hills) in reference to the mountains "l'Adrar des lforas".
These nomadic breeders endured successively the great droughts of 1973 and 1984. The loss of livestock, government repression, and the difficulty to maintain their traditions, led to the first rebellion in 1963 soon after the independence of young Mali. Again a rebbelion in the 1990's, particulary violent, forced people to flee into exile. After the peace treaty signature, though Kidal was recognised as a regional capital, growing undervelopment, and the lack of opportunities for the youth led to another insurrection in May 2006. Once again the various parties managed to come to an agreement, but tensions continued to grow until 2008 when new conflicts erupted between the army and ex-rebels. Beyond their hopes for a decent existence, The Tuaregs wish above all to save and defend their culture.
Recorded at Studio Bogolan, Bamako, Mali, July 21 - 26, 2009
Produced by Chris Eckman
Translations by Melissa Wainhouse
Ousmane Ag Mossa - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Aghaly Ag Mohamadine - Percussion, Drums, Backing Vocals
Cheikhe Ag Tigly - Bass, Backing Vocals
Mossa Ag Borayba - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mossa Ag Ahmed - 2nd Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Fatma Walette Cheikhe - Backing Vocals
Bassa Walette Abdamou - Backing Vocals
Ibrahim Ahmed (Pino) - Calabash On 7
Chris Eckman - Percussion On 2 & Organ on 5
Hugo Race - Slide Guitar On 11
All songs by Ousmane Ag Mossa
Oh Lord, You who sees all things,
You who have power and strength,
help the Touareg.
Since the beginning of existence
he lives in barren regions with no means.
He watches a world in movement evolving beyond him,
while he remains trapped in ignorance.
If Aicha was in a valley,
she would be the flower growing by the water.
If I could have two hearts,
I would live with one,
and offer the other to Aicha,
so that she stays forever happy.
My friend, what is this pitiful world
which ignores your joy and leaves you in a mystery?
Tell love, master of my soul:
To take care of you and of my heart
Remember my love, the pain that fills my heart,
I send you love.
Remember all the memories and the impressions
that you left my heart in pain.
My beloved, what have you done?
I can't believe you are the author.
My heart asks: What pain is this?
He feels abondoned in a dry desert.
My soul answers: such is life;
what seems to you unbelievable
can one day be possible.
Never could I imagine that my heart and soul
could suffer in this way.
A5 ARATANE N'ADAGH
Oh! How pitiful they are,
the children of L'Adagh.
Since their birth they suffer and
have known only drought.
Foreign cities send help such as Lyon and Les Ulis.
Let's fight against ignorance,
which oppresses the children of L'Adagh
because their greatest worry is the lack of knowledge.
B1 TIDITE TILLE
Truth exists, you hide it because
you don't like it, and you don't admit it.
So much suffering that you've dismissed.
You have ignored our people in their torment.
You have left our people in their pain.
But despite the abandonment we feel
and the drought we endure,
we love our land above all.
I greet my beloved, whose love rules my heart.
My heart is in longing abandoned in desperation.
She is more beatiful then the gaze of an antelope
standing by a pond surrounded by rocks.
I will say it and i'll say it again:
freedom will come even if we leave orphans behind.
Our land is not for sale.
Freedom will be our heritage.
Each of you hear what i say,
freedom will come when my people will have independence.
Adagh, why do aour people,
because of your enemy, become rivals?
Despite each revolution and so close to success,
we end up despising each other like enemies.
We fight for glory and sow discord
and our rancour will lead us to our extinction.
Adagh, what have become of your people
who used to believe in the same values?
B5 ADOUNIA MAHEDJAGH
Oh, World, what can I do for my sad heart,
drowned in despair?
The day passes like a year,
and my endless worries accompany me all night long.
This existence brings no joy and no unhappiness,
wait and see.
My people are in conflict and divided,
they are enemies to each other.
Your best friend
with whom you share so many memories,
with whom you share so many memories;
one day will become your worst enemy.