Yacouba Toure and a couple of his friends have gathered around his crackling radio in Mali’s historic city of Timbuktu, soon after French-led troops captured it from militant Islamists.
They are sitting on the dusty steps of a hair salon, feet tapping to the rhythm of music.
“Music is a pleasure for us,” Mr Toure says.
“We can now dance and do whatever we want: We can walk together with women, we can shout, we’re the young people of Timbuktu, this is what we like doing.”
Music was banned under the strict Islamic law that militant Islamists imposed when they took over the ancient desert city last year.
All traditional folklore and ceremonies that make Malian culture vibrant were declared blasphemous.
Other people soon join Mr Toure’s little gathering, and a man offers to make some tea.
The militants banned men and women from mixing in public.
Now, Karia Cisse, who is passing by with a basket full of smoked fish on her head, grabs a cup.
“We can chit-chat with our brothers, our friends, and even our boyfriends,” she says.
“It’s a real pleasure, we’re so happy. I want to thank God.”
Residents of Timbuktu can again enjoy the simple things they were used to, before the city fell under Islamist control 10 months ago.
Written By: Thomas Fessycontinue to source article at bbc.co.uk