The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu : And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts
by Joshua Hammer
Editor: SIMON & SCHUSTER
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In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a library government, Abdel Kader Haidara, traveled across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, searching and rescuing tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular, manuscripts that collapsed into the trunks of desert shepherdsIts objective: to preserve this crucial part of the world heritage in a magnificent libraryBut then al-Qaeda showed up at the doorJoshua Hammer writes about how Haidara, a gentle-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world’s greatest smugglers by recording the texts ensuring their destructionWith courage and patience, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak everything 350,000 volumes outside the city for the security of southern Mali.His heroic heist is a reminder that ordinary citizens often do more to protect the beauty of their cultureHis story is that of a man who, through extreme circumstances, discovered his higher calling and changed forever.
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