Posted on 07/13/2022 at 08:19 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

When jihadists attacked the Malian city of Timbuktu in 2012, citizens scrambled to save themselves — and also to save items of cultural value.

The city, after all, was one of the most prominent centers of Islamic learning in precolonial West Africa, and tens of thousands of manuscripts and books had survived there up until that point.

Thanks to the quick action of these residents, many were saved — and some are even available for the public to view.

While more than 40,000 pages from one Timbuktu library have been digitized and shared through Google Arts & Culture, only a very small portion of them are being translated, says the New York Times.

There just aren't enough scholars who can translate from African languages written in the modified Arabic script.

Take a peek at all the topics covered in the Mali manuscripts and meet the people working to preserve and share them in the NY Times.

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Categories: Today in Books

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