|Timbuktu is a city in Tombouctou Region, in the West African nation of Mali. It was made prosperous by Mansa Musa, tenth mansa (emperor) of the Mali Empire. It is home to the prestigious Sankore University and other madrasas, and was an intellectual and spiritual capital and centre for the propagation of Islam throughout Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its three great mosques, Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahya, recall Timbuktu's golden age. Although continuously restored, these monuments are today under threat from desertification. Timbuktu is primarily made of mud.
During the early 15th century, a number of Islamic institutions were erected. The most famous of these is the Sankore mosque, also known as the University of Sankore.
While Islam was practiced in the cities, the local rural majority were non-Muslim traditionalists. Often the leaders were nominal Muslims in the interest of economic advancement while the masses were traditionalists.
The main language of Timbuktu is a Songhay language called Koyra Chiini, spoken by over 80% of residents. Smaller groups, numbering 10% each before many were expelled during the Tuareg/Arab rebellion of 1990-1994, speak Hassaniya Arabic and Tamashek.The weather is hot and dry throughout much of the year with plenty of sunshine. Average daily maximum temperatures in the hottest months of the year - May and June - exceed 40°C. Temperatures are slightly cooler, though still very hot, from July through September, when practically all of the meager annual rainfall occurs. Only the winter months of December and January have average daily maximum temperatures below 32°C.