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Risking My Life to Save Precious Books

Dr Abdel Kader Haidara managed to hide thousands of ancient books from Islamist militants

When Islamist militants took control of the Malian city of Timbuktu in 2012, Dr Abdel Kader Haidara feared for his life, and for his collection of rare and precious books. He tells us how he managed to save over 300,000 ancient manuscripts - a record of Mali's history - by putting them in metal boxes and smuggling them out of Timbuktu. Father Columba Stewart, a Benedictine monk from the Hill Museum and Manuscript library in the United States tells us how he was able to help Abdel.

Image: Dr Abdel Kader Haidara from the Mamma Haidara Memorial Library in Timbuktu, Mali
Credit: Dr Abdel Kader Haidara

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14 minutes