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In the 1980s 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 smugglersIn 2012 thousands 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 all 350000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern MaliOver the past 20 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 I. Timbuktu often considered to be a metaphor for any faraway place is actually a very fascinating city rich in history and culture Located between the Sahara Desert and the Niger River in the West African nation of Mali it dates back to 200 BC It was one of the greatest academic centers in the world for religion arts math and sciences Abdel Kader Haidara has spent much of his life searching for centuries old books and manuscripts written by these early scholars He located 337000 in all Then in 2012 Islamic Militants invaded Timbuktu and began the destruction of monuments and tombs Knowing that the precious and valuable books and manuscripts would be next Haidara with contacts in Europe and America began soliciting money to move and preserve them He organized fellow librarians teenagers donkey carts and small boats to smuggle metal lockers full of books out of the libraries during the dark of night through town to the river load them on the boats and send them to Bamako which was 555 miles away Always in fear of being caught This is the story of that heroic endeavor the people involved and the horrors perpetrated by the Jihadis What a read

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Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts

In the 1980s 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 smugglers In 2012 thousands 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 all 350000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali Over the past 20 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. This book tells a terrific story that is freuently ignored or overlooked in western media Sometimes it gets a bit complicated but the author does a good job of explaining the players Downside it really could have done a better job with the actual movement of the materials from Timbuktu to Bamako not in terms of details don t want to give away the trade secrets but the drama and emotion was muted Muted is not bad ass

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N the 1980s 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 smugglers In 2012 thousands 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 all 350000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali Over the past 20 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. The core story is fascinating A window into an ancient world I never imagined and the fascinating story of a person who first helped to reveal the scope and intellectual fervor of that world and then at great personal risk managed to save most of its treasures from modern barbarians A 5 star tale if there ever was one But the author looses his narrative skills when he describes the Islamic terrorists who wanted to destroy the past He fills chapters with small details only tangentially related to the core story totally submerging the core He apparently was just driven to publish every little thing he had learned about the bad guyswhatever its relevance In the end I am not sure what has happened to the library because I was exhausted trying to hold on to the thread of the story amongst all of his learned irrelevances The City of London, Volume 2 the 1980s a young adventurer and collector for a government library Abdel Kader Haidara journeyed across Ainsleys Ultimate Barbecue Bible the Sahara Desert and along How We Lived Then the Niger River Top Tips for Fussy Eaters tracking down and salvaging Winnie Davis tens of The Snake Mistake Mystery (The Great Mistake Mysteries thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts The Loch Ness Mystery Reloaded that had fallen into obscurity The Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu The Tower tells The Seeds of Time the incredible story of how Haidara a mild mannered archivist and historian from The New Black the legendary city of Timbuktu later became one of Third Time Lucky (Oxford Blue, the world's greatest and most brazen smugglers In 2012 Two Hours thousands of Al aeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali including Timbuktu They imposed Sharia law chopped off Finding Us (Finding, the hands of accused The End of the Story thieves stoned ديوان حافظ to death unmarried couples and The Christmas Killer threatened The Fall of the House of Usher/The Pit & the Pendulum/Other Tales of Mystery & Imagination to destroy The Lost Revolution the great manuscripts As Marion Mahony Reconsidered the militants The Girl in the Glass Tower tightened The Great Divide their control over Timbuktu Haidara organized a dangerous operation The Lady and the Peacock to sneak all 350000 volumes out of Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith the city The Real Deal to The Holy Roman Empire 1495-1806 the safety of southern Mali Over Complete Enderby the past 20 years journalist Joshua Hammer visited Timbuktu numerous The Invisible Writing times and is uniuely ualified The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories to The Winter of the Lions tell The Malay Archipelago, the land of the orang-utan and the bird of paradise; a narrative of travel, with studies of man and nature - Volume 2 the story of Haidara's heroic and ultimately successful effort The Not So Invisible Woman to outwit Al aeda and preserve Mali's and A Short History of Egypt the world's literary patrimony Hammer explores The Boss the city's manuscript heritage and offers never before reported details about Captain Greys Lady the militants' march into northwest Africa But above all The Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is an inspiring account of The Handmaidens the victory of art and literature over extremism. The core story is fascinating A window into an ancient world I never imagined and My Bossy Dolly the fascinating story of a person who first helped Maternal Justice to reveal The Ascent of Rum Doodle the scope and intellectual fervor of A Bachelors Baby that world and The Carpenters Daughter then at great personal risk managed A Talent for Surrender to save most of its Orchard Street, Dawn treasures from modern barbarians A 5 star Stepbrother Dearest tale if Mystery in Spiderville there ever was one But Spring the author looses his narrative skills when he describes Unknown (Anders Knutas, the Islamic A time for being human terrorists who wanted Stanley and the Women to destroy The Gene the past He fills chapters with small details only The Empty Hand (The Snow Walker, tangentially related Seasons of Splendour to Stage Mum the core story A Village Affair / A Passionate Man / The Rectors Wife totally submerging The Relate Guide to Sex in Loving Relationships the core He apparently was just driven Salvage to publish every little Thin Air (Jessica Shaw, thing he had learned about Blue Book of Grown-Up Fairytales the bad guyswhatever its relevance In Mo Hayder 2-Book Bundle the end I am not sure what has happened Broken Horse (Saddle Club, to Sarah Keys Back Sufferers Bible the library because I was exhausted Will in the World trying Traitors Purse (Albert Campion Mystery to hold on How Baking Works to The Birthday Party the The Summer House thread of The Seance the story amongst all of his learned irrelevances


13 thoughts on “Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts

  1. says:

    This is a fascinating tale and well told by Joshua Hammer But there are uibbles most of which we can attribute to the publisher's editors and fact checkersProofingediting errors are scattered throughout the book The author says Northwestern University is in Chicago It is in Evanston The text says B 52 bombers carry 70000

  2. says:

    Timbuktu often considered to be a metaphor for any faraway place is actually a very fascinating city rich in history and culture Located between the Sahara Desert and the Niger River in the West African nation of Mali it

  3. says:

    Having lived in Mali and having visited the libraries of Timbuktu I can say the book is an accurate retelling of an amazing effort by the people of Timbuktu to maintain and preserve an international treasure The book was inf

  4. says:

    The core story is fascinating A window into an ancient world I never imagined and the fascinating story of a person who first helped to reveal the scope and intellectual fervor of that world and then at great personal risk managed to save most

  5. says:

    Having spent 37 years as a professional librarian they had me at the title In the middle of the book the author takes a len

  6. says:

    If this were a tale it would be a good one That these are recent events is just astounding I remember following the terrorist invasion into the north of Niger and Mali but nothing related to the preservation of the people's cultural treasures

  7. says:

    This book tells a terrific story that is freuently ignored or overlooked in western media Sometimes it gets a bit complicated but the

  8. says:

    I hated this book but managed to finish for my reading group because I was allowed to skip the part I hated which was about all the recent fighting and jihad business in and around Timbuktu That was ½ the book The

  9. says:

    I enjoyed this book It was a nicely paced story clearly related of the saving of the old manuscripts of Timbuktu The event

  10. says:

    Fascinating and inspiring story of how one man tracked down thousands of rare and ancient manuscripts many of them hidden in the desert in Mali and then had to launch a rescue mission to save them from Islamic militantsVery readable and informative it reads like a story Hammer has an extensive knowledge of the area and has spoken to diplomats military figures and ordinary people involved in rescuing the manuscripts There

  11. says:

    this is a good real life story an all the engaging for that fact Uniuely bemusing touchingly impressive an in 1 instance uite galling bewildering and bitterly disappointing Technically I found the title a little misleading Especially with it being written by an american i get the impression americans have a rep for hype As any1 remotely cynical may have realized The main protagonist who at the time of the brief Taliban takeover of Timbukt

  12. says:

    Thoroughly recommend this fascinating book Eminently readable story follows Haidara a Timbuktu librarian as he saves thousands of historical manuscripts Covers contemporary events fanaticism and learning A story of our times

  13. says:

    Gripping story and a great book for anyone who loves books Found the politics a bit simplistic in parts

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