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The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven. Hammer recounts the incredible story of how Abdel KaderHaidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu,became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers. In a race against the clock (as militants aim to “turn the clocks back fourteen hundred years” by destroying revered religious shrines and documents)  Haidara and associates buy up every trunk in al-Qaeda-occupied Timbuktu and pack 370,000 historical manuscripts off 606 miles south to Bamako, employing a team of teenage couriers. A thrilling and moving story of bravery, faith and preservation.


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