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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.

For custodians of the ancient heritage of the Middle East and North Africa, the recent rise of Islamist extremist groups has posed a dire challenge.

  • Joshua Hammer
  • The Wall Street Journal

Since its seizure of the historic Iraqi city of Mosul in early 2014, Islamic State has pillaged and demolished mosques, shrines, churches and other sacred sites across the region.

The group continues to launch “cultural cleansing” operations from Tikrit to

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