The Joy Of Giving - Narayanan Krishnan

Moussa Ag Assarid, born between 1.975 and 1.978 in the Sahara desert between Timbuktu and Gao , he is a writer, journalist, storyteller and actor Malian Tuareg . 

He was naturalized French in August 2.010 while retaining the Malian .


Moussa Ag Assarid Touareg is. 

Born around 1.975 in a nomad camp between Timbuktu and Gao (in the north of Mali ), he is the eldest in a family of thirteen children. 

Around the age of thirteen, he stumbles upon Le Petit Prince de Saint Exupéry, who gives him the desire to go to school to learn to read. 

After schooling Ansongo , he left for his studies in Bamako , the capital. 

He participates in events of pupils and students in 1.996 . 

He arrived in France in Angers in 1.999 (due to the twinning of the city Bamako ). 

He studied management at the University of Angers and at the University of Montpellier 1 ( ISEM ), where he was elected student Board of Directors 2.005 to 2.007 , and finally the IRCOM the Ponts-de-Ce .

In March 2.006 , fate There's no traffic jam in the desert where he recounts his arrival in France and his vision of Western civilization as the Tuareg of Mali , this book has been printed in some forty thousand copies in French but also more than ten thousand Korean and several thousand Spanish and Italian. 

In March 2.008 , fate Children sands, written with his brother Ibrahim, the creation of a school for Tuareg association Ennor Moussa Ag Assarid chairs. 

Then, still under the direction of Alain Christmas Presses de la Renaissance, he co-wrote It's not just sand in the desert with Nathalie Gil Valera , psycho-sociologist, who knows very culture of the nomadic peoples of the Sahara.

Moussa Ag Assarid is also a journalist freelancing for RFI and France Culture , storyteller but also for schools and libraries.

Political Commitment

Early January 2.012 he received death threats following its accession to the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) , , where he became the spokesman.

On 9 June 2.012, he was appointed "Information Officer" of the Transitional Council of the State of Azawad .
On 8 February 2.013, it is the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by the Prosecutor of the Republic of Mali, Daniel Tessogué, like 25 other leaders of the rebellion of Tuareg MNLA and armed Islamist groups Ansar Dine , AQIM and Mujao on charges including drug trafficking, terrorism and sedition .

Career as an actor

Moussa Ag Assarid plays for the first time in a TV series : Louis la Brocante , Moussa Ag Assarid Amsalek is the role of the Messenger of sands in the episode Louis and the Messenger sands broadcast for the first time on television in September 2.005 on France 3 . 

He also appeared in two films, Paris, I love you and The Page Turner released in theaters in 2.006 , in two films, the virus alert for M6 and Black night for Canal + , as well as a short film, Is not believe.

Interview :

Who are the Touareg?

Touareg means 'abandoned', because we are an old nomadic tribe of the desert. 

We are lonely and proud : masters of the desert, they call us. 

Our ethnic group is Amazigh (or Berber), and our alphabet is the tifinagh. 

How many are there of you? 

Approximately three million, the majority still are nomadic. 

But the population is decreasing. A wise man said it is necessary for a tribe to disappear to realize they existed. 

I am working to preserve this tribe. 

What do they do for a living? 

We shepherd camels, goats, sheep, cows and donkeys in an infinite kingdom of silence. 

Is the desert really so silent? 

If you are on your own in that silence you hear your heart beat. 

There is no better place to meet yourself. 

What memories do you have of your childhood in the desert? 

I wake up with the sun. 

The goats of my father are there. 

They give us milk and meat, and we take them were there is water and grass. 

My great-grandfather did it, and my grandfather, and my father, and me. 

There was nothing else in the world than that, and I was very happy! 

Really? It doesn't sound very exciting.

It is. At the age of seven you can go alone away from the compound, and for this you are taught the important things to smell the air, to listen, to see, to orient with the sun and the stars...and to be guided by the camel if you get lost. 

He will take you where there is water. 

This sounds like valuable knowledge, no doubt.

Everything is simple and profound there. 

There are very few things, and each one has enormous value. 

So that world and this one are very different. 

There, every little thing gives happiness. Every touch is valuable. 

We feel great joy just by touching each other, being together. 

There, nobody dreams of becoming, because everybody already is. 

What shocked you most on your first trip to Europe? 

I saw people running in the airport. In the desert you only run if a sandstorm is approaching! 

It scared me, of course. 

They were going after their baggage. 

Yes, that was it. I also saw signs with naked women. 

Why this lack of respect for the woman? I wondered. 

Then at the hotel I saw the first faucet of my life: I saw the water run and wanted to cry. 

Because of the waste, the abundance?

Every day of my life had been involved in seeking water. 

When I see the ornamental fountains here and there, I still feel an intense pain. 


In the early 90s there was a big drought, animals died, and we became sick. 

I was about twelve years old and my mother died. 

She was everything to me! 

She used to tell me stories and taught me to tell stories. 

She taught me to be myself. 

What happened to your family?

I persuaded my father to let me go to school. 

Every day I walked fifteen kilometers, until one teacher gave me a bed to sleep in and a woman gave me food when I walked by her house. 

I then understood what was happening; my mother was helping me. 

Where did you get interested in school?

A few years before the Paris-Dakar motor rally came through the compound and a journalist dropped a book from her backpack. 

I picked it up and gave it to her. 

She gave it to me and talked to me about that book : "The Little Prince". I promised myself that I would be able to read it one day. 

And you did. 

Yes, and because of that I won a scholarship to study in France. 

A Touareg going to college! 

Ah, what I most miss here is the camel milk. 

And the wood fires. And walking barefoot on the warm sand. 

And the stars. 

We watched them every night, every star is different, just as every goat is different. 

Here, in the evenings, you watch TV. 

That is true. What do you dislike the most here?

You have everything, and it is still not enough for you. 

You complain. In France people complain all the time! 

You chain yourself to a bank; everyone is anxious to have things, to have possessions. 

Everyone is in a rush. In the desert there are no traffic jams, and do you know why? 

Because there nobody is interested in getting ahead of other people. 

Tell me about a moment of deep happiness for you in the desert. 

It happens every day, two hours before sunset. 

The heat decreases, there is still no cold air, and men and animals slowly return to the compound, and their profiles are painted against a sky that is pink, blue, red, yellow, green. 

That sounds fascinating

It's a magical moment. We all get into the tents and we boil tea. 

Sitting in silence we listen to the sound of the boiling water. 

We are immersed in calmness, with our the heart beating to the rhythm of the boiling water, potta potta potta......

How peaceful. you have watches; there, we have time.


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