Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the

Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts In the s a young adventurer and collector for a government library Abdel Kader Haidara journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity The Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara a mild mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu later became one of the world s greatest and most brazen smugglersInthousands of Al aeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali including Timbuktu They imposed Sharia law chopped off the hands of accused thieves stoned to death unmarried couples and threatened to destroy the great manuscripts As the militants tightened their control over Timbuktu Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak allvolumes out of the city to the safety of southern MaliOver the past years journalist Joshua Hammer visited Timbuktu numerous times and is uniuely ualified to tell the story of Haidara s heroic and ultimately successful effort to outwit Al aeda and preserve Mali s and the world s literary patrimony Hammer explores the city s manuscript heritage and offers never before reported details about the militants march into northwest Africa But above all The Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is an inspiring account of the victory of art and literature over extremism

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