Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu/ Joshua Hammer/ 278 pages

In the Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu Joshua Hammer introduces the reader to life in Mali before and after an attempted take over by jihadist.  Abdel Kader Haidara and his team of cohorts are the heroes in this story.  The reader learns of Haidara's long struggle to acquire centuries old manuscripts from the families in Mali.  Many of these manuscripts had been hidden away, some buried in the sand to keep them out of the hands of previous insurgents.  With grants, donations and various financial aid, Haidara builds a library to house, repair and preserve the collection.  In 2012 armed conflict with Tuareg rebels aided by Al Qaeda posses a threat to the manuscripts.  Working in secret Haidara and friends take on the monumental task of packing and transporting tens of thousands of manuscripts to safety.  As Hammer tells the tale of the librarians he also gives the reader a sense of how Al Qaeda and it's followers are responsible for terrorism not only to Western Nations,but to Islamic Nations as well.

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