Timbuktu is a Real City


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • remote: far away
  • trading port: a central location where people go to buy and sell goods
  • scholar: a well-educated person; usually one who shares his or her knowledge
  • golden age: a time period when things went very well; a profitable time
  • invade: to enter an area by force and try to take it over

Timbuktu Is a Real City

In English, the word Timbuktu is often used to mean a very remote place. Many people do not that Timbuktu is a real city in the West African republic of Mali. Timbuktu is located at the northernmost tip of the Niger river, at the edge of the Sahara . In the 11th , it was a major trading port for gold and salt. Its location made it a natural meeting point for Africans and Arabs. Many Arab scholars made their home there, and by the 14th century, Timbuktu was considered a city of . The golden age ended in the 1500s, when the city was invaded by Morocco. For many centuries, Europeans considered Timbuktu a place of mystery that was far away to explore.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where is Timbuktu?
  2. In English, what does the word Timbuktu often mean?
  3. What commodities did people trade in Timbuktu in the 11th century?

Discussion Questions: Long ago, Timbuktu was a great place to buy, sell, and trade books and knowledge? Do you think the exchange of words and knowledge was as important back then as it is today? What has changed?

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