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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:06 AM

People of Timbuktu saved manuscripts from invaders

TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) For eight days after the Islamists set fire to one of the world's most precious collections of ancient manuscripts, the alarm inside the building blared. It was an eerie, repetitive beeping, a cry from the innards of the injured library that echoed around the world.

The al-Qaida-linked extremists who ransacked the institute wanted to deal a final blow to Mali, whose northern half they had held for 10 months before retreating in the face of a French-led military advance. They also wanted to deal a blow to the world, especially France, whose capital houses the headquarters of UNESCO, the organization which recognized and elevated Timbuktu's monuments to its list of World Heritage sites.

So as they left, they torched the Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research, aiming to destroy a heritage of 30,000 manuscripts that date back to the 13th century.

"These manuscripts are our identity," said Abdoulaye Cisse, the library's acting director. "It's through these manuscripts that we have been able to reconstruct our own history, the history of Africa . People think that our history is only oral, not written. What proves that we had a written history are these documents."

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/people-timbuktu-save-manuscripts-invaders

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Reply People of Timbuktu saved manuscripts from invaders (Original post)
The Straight Story Feb 2013 OP
LibertyLover Feb 2013 #1
Octafish Feb 2013 #2
A Little Weird Feb 2013 #3
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2013 #4
FrodosPet Feb 2013 #5
derby378 Feb 2013 #6
Robb Feb 2013 #7

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:18 AM

1. When I read that the rebels had burned books in Timbuktu

I literally cried. Friends of mine have been there and showed us photos of the city and some of the books. It was fascinating. I really, really, really do not like fundamentalist religious asshats of any stripe because of the destruction they bring to people, places and things. That the al Qaida rebels destroyed the shrines of the saints is a tragedy. That they burned books is an abomination. That the people of Timbuktu were able to save so many precious tomes is a tribute to their love of and respect for learning. The world is very fortunate.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:19 AM

2. Thank you, The Straight Story.

This news made my day.

The Ancient Astronomers of Timbuktu

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:22 AM

3. This is great

It's a shame any were lost but I'm happy to learn that they saved so many!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:42 AM

4. A fascinating story at the link.

Abba Alhadi shows the power of how one man can make an enormous difference.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:47 AM

5. But France and America are bad, everyone against us is GOOD!

We should be talking to the Islamists, asking them "What can we do for you?", not attacking them and/or thwarting their plans to destroy historical treasures.

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:51 AM

6. Are you feeling all right, son?

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:52 AM

7. "Again." nt

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