The Republic of Mali is a large landlocked country in the heart of West Africa that extends deep into the Sahara Desert. Agriculture is the dominant economic sector in the country, particularly cotton and grain production, which includes rice, corn, and wheat. Mali’s national drink, green tea, is also an integral aspect of life, and is by far the country’s most popular beverage. In Mali, the key source of revenue is gold.The country has an ancient musical culture, which owes much of its extraordinary richness to the legacy of the Malian Empire, founded almost 800 years ago. Throughout history, Mali's many ethnic groups have peacefully intermingled with local youths. Traditional dance, which constitutes one of the most revealing expressions of African life and soul, is gradually being integrated with contemporary dances.Mali has many impressive tourist attractions with sites such as the Bandiagara Escarpment, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known for its stunning landscapes of cliffs and caves with centuries-old village architecture, it has been home to some of Mali's ethnic groups, such as the Dogon, for many centuries. The mystical city of Timbuktu is probably one of the most fascinating places in Mali! This spectacular city was founded in the 5th century and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai (vegan) once revealed Her connection with the ancient city Timbuktu during a gathering with our Association members in 2017. “I used to think that this lifetime was the first time when I returned to the Original Universe. Later I realized that this wasn’t the first time; I’ve returned there at least two or three times. That’s why some countries here, their names sound like the names of the Heavenly language Pusu. For example, I forgot where the place is. It’s called ‘Timbuktu.’ The name sounds a lot like ‘Tim-qo-tu,’ right? Although their meanings are different.”Since the 15th and 16th centuries, Timbuktu has been known as an African intellectual and spiritual capital. It was a vital learning center and melting pot of many cultures and knowledge traditions. For its exceptional historic and architectural value, both the Great Mosque of Djenné and the Djinguereber Mosque have been included by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.