Melanie Horstead

About Melanie


Arabic, English, French

Areas of Expertise

West Africa, Senegal

An idea worth spreading

Senegal has an interesting history and a society based on tolerance and understanding. The Senegalese people have always been proud of their perceived 'Teranga' or hospitality and despite the hardships people face, they give with generosity and treat others as family. I was overwhelmed by the kindness I experienced when living in Senegal. I was also saddened by the fact that large groups of street children 'Talibe' (student) roam the streets constantly, malnourished and begging for food. The roots and the complexity of the situation, and how the problem of the huge numbers of children on the street developed are too much to go into in this summary. But I have faith that with time, communication, and encouragement of communication between groups and individuals, secular and non-secular, an agreed solution will be found. Answers lie in the very same foundations of inclusion, communication, and understanding that Senegal is built on and I am hopeful for an even better future.

I'm passionate about

I'm particularly passionate about Senegal. I'm currently researching the history of the main Sufi orders in Senegal and the relationship between religion and the state.