Thanks to FNB’s Page about recent events in Mali, The Price of War: Ancient African Archives Set on Fire in Timbuktu, I found some good news regarding the manuscripts and (thanks to a commenter), an excellent BBC video:
Time magazine’s Vivienne Walt reports that some experts on the ground in Mali say many of the manuscripts were saved before the Islamists’ pillage:
Realizing that the documents might be prime targets for pillaging or vindictive attacks from Islamic extremists, staff left behind just a small portion of them, perhaps out of haste, but also to conceal the fact that the center had been deliberately emptied.
‘The documents which had been there are safe, they were not burned,’ Mahmoud Zouber, Mali’s presidential aide on Islamic affairs, told Time, ‘They were put in a very safe place.’
Other experts confirmed that while there were ‘a few items’ in the Ahmed Baba library, the rest were protected in an undisclosed hiding place.
Here’s a look at why the world is so worked up over the documents and what it might mean if they were destroyed:
Woohoo—chalk up one for the good guys! They’ve been through this before and were ready for it. *happy dance*
Here’s a fascinating BBC documentary about Timbuktu’s libraries, including the one that was burned (h/t Origuy):
Have I mentioned lately how much I despise extremists who do nothing but hate & leave destruction in their path? Gah!