Mali: Saved from the Fire by Ami Vitale

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At Timbuktu's Ahmed Baba Centre in Mali, librarian Al Wangari holds a manuscript. Over the past years, with funding from different organizations including the Ford Foundation, thousands of the manuscripts are being recovered, stored, preserved and studied. Timbuktu's manuscripts are varied in both length and subject. Their topics are as diverse as science, medicine, history, human rights, law, poetry and literature. A majority of them are religious in nature, such as handwritten Korans, accounts of the life of the Prophet, and prayers and expositions of Islamic philosophy. Sadly, many of them have been lost or severely damaged, but for those that remain, the fact that the manuscripts are being restored is a testament to the resilience of the African people and a magnificent reminder of Africa's literary history. /Felix Features