December 26, 2013
In this Sept. 24, 2013 photo, Quranic students known as talibes sleep together in the crowded room that serves as their classroom and living quarters, at a daara, or Quranic school, in the Medina Gounass suburb of Dakar, Senegal. The students rise before dawn to study, and then spend hours begging for money and food to bring back to their religious teacher, or marabout. At many schools, talibes who don't bring back the daily quota of around 50 cents are beaten.
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NDAME, Senegal — Seven nights a week, 13-year-old Cheikhou and his younger brother Bamba would make their way to a wooden shack they shared with dozens of other barefoot child beggars, blanketing the floor with their tired bodies.