Friday, February 8, 2013

Good news from Timbuktu

The retreating Islamists did not, after all, destroy the 30,000 irreplaceable manuscripts, some dating back to the 13th century,  in the Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research. They burned about 2000 – bad enough but the rest had been barged to safety in Bamako. The man who saved them is illiterate.

The story has been widely if briefly reported but this AP report by Rukmini Callimachi seems to be the best telling of it. Quote unquote:
“We lost a lot of our riches. But we were also able to save a great deal of our riches, and for that I am overcome with joy,” Cisse said. “These manuscripts represent who we are.... I saved these books in the name of Timbuktu first, because I am from Timbuktu. Then I did it for my country. And also for all of humanity. Because knowledge is for all of humanity.”
Monitor: Mick Hartley

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