Mali: Saved from the Fire by Ami Vitale

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Boubacar Sadeck, the last calligrapher in Timbuktu holds ancient manuscripts that his family owns in his home. After Islamic militants launched a campaign to eradicate historic vestiges of a medieval Muslim civilization that they deemed un-Islamic, international scholars feared the worst: that the militants had torched the Ahmed Baba Institute, home to 30,000 priceless items of scholarship dating back to the 13th century. But many volumes may have escaped destruction by being hidden from fundamentalist forces that seized the north last year. /Felix Features