Mali Empire

The Mali Empire was an empire in West Africa from c. 1235 to 1670. The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers Musa Keita; the Manding languages were spoken in the empire. The Mali Empire was the largest empire in West Africa and profoundly influenced the culture of West Africa through the spread of its language and customs. Much of the recorded information about the Mali Empire comes from 14th-century North African Arab historian Ibn Khaldun, 14th-century Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta and 16th-century Moroccan traveller Leo Africanus; the other major source of information is Mandinka oral tradition, through storytellers known as griots. The empire began as a small Mandinka kingdom at the upper reaches of the Niger River, centred around the town of Niani. During the 11th and 12th centuries, it began to develop as an empire following the decline of the Ghana Empire to the north. During this period, trade routes shifted southward to the savanna; the early history of the Mali Empire is unclear, as there are conflicting and imprecise accounts by both Arab chroniclers and oral traditionalists.

Sundiata Keita is the first ruler. Sundiata Keita was a warrior-prince of the Keita dynasty, called upon to free the Mali people from the rule of the king of the Sosso Empire, Soumaoro Kanté; the conquest of Sosso in c. 1235 gave the Mali Empire access to the trans-Saharan trade routes. Following the death of Sundiata Keita in c. 1255, the kings of Mali were referred to by the title mansa. Sundiata's nephew Mansa Musa made a Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca during the reign of the Mamluk Sultan Baibars. Following a series of usurpations of the throne of Mali, in c. 1285 Sakoura, a former royal court slave, became emperor and was one of its most powerful rulers expanding the territories of Mali. He made a pilgrimage to Mecca during the reign of Mamluk Sultan An-Nasir Muhammad. After he died on his return, the throne reverted to the descendants of Sundiata Keita. After the reigns of three more emperors, Musa Keita became emperor in c. 1312. Musa made a famous pilgrimage to Mecca from 1324 to 1326, his generous gifts to Mamluk Egypt and his expenditure of gold caused gold to be devalued, which gave rise to his fame outside of Mali.

In 1337, he was succeeded by his son Maghan I. It was during Suleyman's reign. Following this period, a period of weak emperors and disunity began in Mali. Ibn Khaldun died in 1406, following his death there was no continuous record of events in the Mali Empire, it is known from the Tarikh al-Sudan. The Venetian explorer Alvise Cadamosto and Portuguese traders confirmed that the peoples of the Gambia were still subject to the mansa of Mali. Upon Leo Africanus's visit at the beginning of the 16th century, his descriptions of the territorial domains of Mali showed that it was still a kingdom of considerable area. However, from 1507 onwards neighbouring states such as Diara, Great Fulo and the Songhay Empire eroded the extreme territories of Mali. In 1542, the Songhay invaded the capital city of Niani but were unsuccessful in conquering the empire. During the 17th century, the Mali empire faced incursions from the Bamana Empire. After unsuccessful attempts by Mansa Mama Maghan to conquer Bamana, in 1670 Bamana sacked and burned Niani, the Mali Empire disintegrated and ceased to exist, being replaced by independent chiefdoms.

The Keitas retreated to the town of Kangaba. The Rock art in the Sahara suggests that northern Mali has been inhabited since 10,000 BC, when the Sahara was fertile and rich in wildlife. By 300 BC, large organised settlements had developed, most notable near Djenné, one of West Africa's oldest cities. By the 6th century AD, the lucrative trans-Saharan trade in gold and slaves had begun, facilitating the rise of West Africa's great empires. There are a few references to Mali in early written literature. Among these are references to "Pene" and "Malal" in the work of al-Bakri in 1068, the story of the conversion of an early ruler, known to Ibn Khaldun as Barmandana, a few geographical details in the work of al-Idrisi. In the 1960s, archaeological work at Niani village, reputed to be the capital of the Mali Empire, by Polish and Guinean archaeologists revealed the remains of a substantial town dating back as far as the 6th century. Modern oral traditions related that the Mandinka kingdoms of Mali or Manden had existed several centuries before Sundiata's unification as a small state just to the south of the Soninké empire of Wagadou, better known as the Ghana Empire.

This area was composed of mountains and forest providing ideal protection and resources for the population of hunters. Those not living in the mountains formed small city-states such as Ka-Ba and Niani. Through the oral tradition of griots, the Keita dynasty, from which nearly every Mali emperor came, traces its lineage back to Lawalo, one of the sons of Bilal, the faithful muezzin of Islam's prophet Muhammad, said to have migrated into Mali and his descendants established the ruling Keita dynasty through Maghan Kon Fatta, father of Sundiata Keita, it was common practice during the Middle Ages for both Christian and Muslim rulers to tie their bloodline back to a pivotal figure in their faith's history, so the lineage of the Keita dynasty may be dubious at b

Hapoel Zikhron Ya'akov F.C.

Hapoel Zikhron Ya'akov was an Israeli football club based in Zikhron Ya'akov. The club played two seasons in the second tier of Israeli football league system; the club was founded in 1947 and played in the lower divisions of Israeli football. Hapoel played their first football season in Liga Meuhedet, the temporary second tier in the 1949–50 season, where they finished sixth in the Samaria division, were placed in Liga Bet, the second tier of Israeli football at the time. However, Hapoel were automatically relegated to Liga Gimel; the club was dissolved in 1958 due to financial problems, reformed five years in 1963. In the 1965–66 season, Hapoel won Liga Gimel Samaria division, after Promotion play-offs, were promoted to Liga Bet. In the 1969–70, the club won Liga Bet North B division and promoted to Liga Alef, the second tier at the time. However, the club's spell in Liga Alef lasted only one season, as they finished second bottom in the North division at the 1970–71 season and relegated back to Liga Bet.

In the 1973–74 season, the club finished bottom in the North B division, after Relegation play-offs, were relegated to Liga Gimel. Prior to the 1995–96 season, the club merged with local rivals Maccabi Zikhron Ya'akov to create Ironi Zikhron Ya'akov; the merged club was dissolved at the end of the 1999–2000 season, following relegation from Liga Bet to Liga Gimel

Pádraig Reidy

Pádraig Reidy is an Irish Gaelic footballer with the Scartaglin club and the Kerry county team. Reidy was an outstanding schools player with St. Patrick's College of Castleisland, won the 2003 Dunloe Shield, he won two Munster Minor Football Championship medals with Kerry, was a member of the Kerry minor side beaten by Laois in the 2003 All-Ireland Minor Football Championship semi-final and of the team which lost to Tyrone in the 2004 final. He lined out with the Kerry Under 21's between 2005 and 2007, he enjoyed little success however, losing to Cork in 2005 and 2006, as well as a surprise loss to Clare in 2007. Reidy was a member of the Kerry squad for the All-Ireland Junior Football Championship in 2005, starting at corner-back. Kerry defeated Tipperary GAA in the quarter-final of the Munster Junior Football Championship, they overcame Limerick GAA in a replay to reach the final, with Reidy part of what was considered a solid full-back line. However, Cork GAA, who subsequently won the All-Ireland championship, beat them in the final.

The Scartaglin man made his National Football League debut against Mayo. He first broke through not the Kerry team in 2007 playing in that seasons National Football League, he made his championship debut against Waterford in the Munster Senior Football Championship on June 3. He played in the corner-back spot vacated by Tom O'Suullivan, who moved to full-back following the retirement of Mike McCarthy. Despite his inexperience and early difficulties, Reidy settled well and is recognised as a talented young back who blossomed during the Championship, he won his first Munster Seinor Football Championship title after over coming Cork in the final. He gave fine performances against Mark Vaughan of Dublin GAA and James Masters of Cork in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final and final. Reidy played at corner-back as Kerry won the final by 3–13 to 1–09 against Cork GAA; the victory made him the first Scartaglin player to win a senior All-Ireland with Kerry. He played in all of Kerry's National Football League games in 2008, including the final loss to Derry Reidy had a fine year with his club, which won the East Kerry Intermediate championship.

As a result, the club qualified for the East Kerry Senior Football Championship proper reaching the semi-finals and beating the powerful Dr. Crokes in what was described as a "David and Goliath battle". At divisional level however, Reidy's St. Kieran's sides were knocked out in the second round of the Kerry Senior Football Championship by eventual champions Feale Rangers. In 2008, Reidy has so far retained his number four jersey and is one of the starting corner-backs for Kerry in the National Football League. Http:// Profile of Pádraig Reidy at