Emergency airlift pilots in Niger, Africa, carry with them tiny SD
cards with life-giving audio and visual messages in them.
When they land at remote rural airports, they leave some of these media
with local leaders. These folk install the media in their mobile
telephones, and listen to the messages along with family and friends.
Media distributors were carrying books by car in northern Nigeria,
printed in Fulfulde language written in Arabic script. At an illegal
road block, armed Boko Haram insurgents sought to rob the car at gun
When the criminals saw that the books were written in a non-Western
alphabet, they exclaimed that these must be holy books. So they took a
few copies and let the distributors continue on their way unharmed.
Across much of West Africa, a majority of adults remain officially
illiterate, unable to read their own language written in the Western
However, millions have attended Koran schools where they learned to
read their language written in an Arabic alphabet called Ajami.
Western aid organizations have begun transcribing helpful literature in
Ajami, which folk are proving eager to obtain and read.
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