The Librarian Who Saved Timbuktu’s Cultural Treasures From al Qaeda.   A middle-aged book collector in Mali helped keep the fabled city’s libraries, books and manuscripts safe from occupying jihadists

The Librarian Who Saved Timbuktu’s Cultural Treasures From al Qaeda. A middle-aged book collector in Mali helped keep the fabled city’s libraries, books and manuscripts safe from occupying jihadists

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Timbuktu Mali, one of the greatest cities of antiquity. This was a center of scholarship, and a trade hub with access to the Niger River, and across the Sahara to Morocco.

Timbuktu Mali, one of the greatest cities of antiquity. This was a center of scholarship, and a trade hub with access to the Niger River, and across the Sahara to Morocco.

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Sankoré Madrasah, The University of Sankoré, or Sankore Masjid is one of three ancient centers of learning located in Timbuktu, Mali, West Africa.

Sankoré Madrasah, The University of Sankoré, or Sankore Masjid is one of three ancient centers of learning located in Timbuktu, Mali, West Africa.

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Timbuktu, Mali -- This mosque is the largest mud building in the world.  Every year, after the rainy season and as part of a celebration, residents get together to reapply mud to the outside.  Because it is the nature of the material to wash away in the rain, there is constant upkeep.

Timbuktu, Mali -- This mosque is the largest mud building in the world. Every year, after the rainy season and as part of a celebration, residents get together to reapply mud to the outside. Because it is the nature of the material to wash away in the rain, there is constant upkeep.

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An incredible architectural feat of beauty. The Great mosque of Djenne Mali.  Is it now at risk?

An incredible architectural feat of beauty. The Great mosque of Djenne Mali. Is it now at risk?

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