Virtually unknown to most Westerners, Ajami was created centuries ago by Islamic teachers to disseminate the religion to the African masses, and it became, in the twentieth century, the chosen language of anticolonial nationalist resistance.
Today it’s a key that can unlock the African perspective on centuries of history, as well as literature, religion, and even medicine. The incredible thing is that most of the texts have never been translated. But that’s something the African Language Program at BU is trying to change. In fact, it’s the first program in the country to incorporate Ajami in a language curriculum, and there are hopes of starting an Ajami center at BU at some point in the future to teach the complex writing system to anthropologists, historians, and other researchers.