Archaeologists Take Wrong Turn, Find World’s Oldest Stone Tools

Archaeologists working in the Kenyan Rift Valley have discovered the oldest known stone tools in the world. Dated to around 3.3 million years ago, the implements are some 700,000 years older than stone tools from Ethiopia that previously held this distinction. They are so old, in fact, that they predate the earliest fossils representing our genus, Homo,by half a million years. As such they suggest that stone tool manufacture began not with Homo, but with a more primitive member of the human family.

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700 African migrants are feared to have drowned just outside Libyan waters, in what could prove to be the worst disaster yet involving migrants being smuggled to Europe, UN’s refugee agency says. Sunday morning’s accident means that at least 1,500 migrants have died so far in 2015 while on route to Europe – at least 30 times higher than last year’s equivalent figure, which was itself a record. It comes just days after 400 others drowned last week in a similar incident. The most serious incident prior to Sunday occurred off Malta in September 2014. An estimated 500 migrants drowned in a shipwreck caused by traffickers deliberately ramming the boat in an attempt to force the people on board onto another, smaller vessel.In October 2013, more than 360 Africans perished when the tiny fishing boat they were crammed onto caught fire within sight of the coast of Lampedusa. The migrants seeking to reach Europe with the help of people smugglers are generally fleeing conflict or persecution. 

Finally, one word about “foreigners” and “migrants”. No African is a foreigner in Africa! No African is a migrant in Africa! Africa is where we all belong, notwithstanding the foolishness of our boundaries. No amount of national-chauvinism will erase this. No amount of deportations will erase this. Instead of spilling black blood on no other than Pixley ka Seme Avenue (!), we should all be making sure that we rebuild this Continent and bring to an end a long and painful history — that which, for too long, has dictated that to be black (it does not matter where or when), is a liability.

Ibn Qayyim رحمه الله said:

“If Allah سبحانه و تعالى had forgiven the one who had quenched the thirst of a very thirsty dog, so what would be the case for he who quenches the thirst, feeds the hungry, and clothes the unclothed from among the Muslims?”

قال ابن القيم رحمه الله: واذا كان الله سبحانه قد غفر لمن سقى كلبا على شدة ظمأه فكيف بمن سقى العطاش وأشبع الجياع وكسى العراة من المسلمين

[Udat al-Sabireen 1/216]

“This picture highlights the way that I felt as a Peace Corps trainee. Hardly able to communicate, unfamiliar with the environment that surrounded me, and feeling completely innocent. I felt as if I was a child again. At the moment that this photo was captured, all of these feelings came to the surface and could be seen by all. This moment defines the way I approached my Peace Corps service - with an open mind and unbiased, the only way a child knows how. In this photo were my host brothers, host sisters, and our neighbor.” -Daniel Saftner

Yahya ben Mahmud al-Wasiti
A miniature from Al-Maqamat showing a Swahili (Zanji) trading ship

Iran (1237)

The Young Historian says:

…the notion that it was Persians and Arabs who developed the trade routes on the Swahili Coast is equally unfounded and against the evidence that proves the local Africans were long distant trading long before the advent of Islam and the arrival of Arab and Persian merchants. A Native Swahili researcher and archaeologist from the University of Dar Es Salaam, Dr. Felix Chami, has discovered an exciting find in a cave on the Island of  Juani off the Tanzanian Coast. Inspired by the works of the Greek geographer Ptolemy,  describing East African cities being “Metropolis” Dr. Chami has discovered items indicating long distant trade carbon dated to 600 B.C. Among the items discovered were Syrian Glass vessels, Greco-Roman Pottery, Sassanian Pottery from Persia and glass beads. 

UPDATE: I found out the name of the illuminator of this text, via NYPL. :)

Kenneth Kaunda’s Government recognised that xenophobia needs to be pre-empted from childhood. It introduced a subject called Civics in the educational system from Grade 4, which was compulsory in all public and private schools. A fascinating subject, Civics taught children about the history of the region.

We were taught about the racism that was taking place in South Africa and the region, and apartheid was simplified for our small minds to understand, and why people from those countries had to seek refuge in Zambia. Presented in a humane manner, Civics made children very empathetic towards others. By the time children got to secondary school, xenophobia had been pre-empted in them. This was one of the most important interventions against intolerance.