On May 23, the Malian Ambassador to the US, His Excellency Mahamadou Nimaga, met with Rubia’s Director Catherine Rielly and Board Member Dr. Nabila Baba-Ali, Consulting Systems Engineer at ODA Optics.
Ambassador Nimaga thanked Rubia for its work with bogolan artists, recognizing the important role that art plays in Malian culture.
The Ambassador showed his appreciation by sharing photos of bogolan made by the Tanti Bogolan Women’s Association on Government social media.
The Rubia team engaged in a rich conversation with the Ambassador about the Government’s priorities for restoring peace.
Dr. Nabila Baba-Ali made parallels between Mali’s struggles with Islamic extremism and the challenges faced in Algeria, the country where she grew up.
She shared the Algerian experience of steering the population away from terrorism through economic, social and cultural programs and greater diversity and quality of public media.
In Mali, the promise of employment can also fight terrorism.
Rubia’s support for young bogolan artisans offers a peaceful alternative to a life of violence. A job learning to dye traditional cloth can replace the boredom and hopelessness that makes young people vulnerable to terrorist recruitment.
We are immensely grateful to Mr. Lamine Savadogo, for his generous support and wise counsel, most recently by introducing the Ambassador to Rubia.