The Brazen Bibliophiles of Timbuktu

For The New Republic, Yochi Dreazen looks at the improbable story of “how a team of sneaky librarians duped Al Qaeda” in Timbuktu. Despite constant attempts by radical militants to destroy rare manuscripts, Abdel Kader Haidara managed to save approximately 160,000 manuscripts depicting the “tantalizing story of a moderate Islam, in which scholars argued for women’s rights and welcomed Christians and Jews.” Haidara said, “If you [lose] a manuscript, it’s gone forever. Each one is unique, with its own story. It can’t be replaced.”  

Read at The New Republic

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