Mali’s cultural heritage got a shock when militants set ablaze a building that housed priceless ancient manuscripts in country’s fabled desert city of Timbuktu, where the French-led troops are making a speedy advance towards north.
What are Timbuktu Manuscripts?
Timbuktu Manuscripts is a collective term for thousands of manuscripts been preserved by private households in Timbuktu, Mali. A majority of these manuscripts are written in Arabic and deal with subjects like art, medicine, science, and calligraphy of the late Abbasid Caliphate, and even multiple priceless old copies of the Quran. These manuscripts date b/w the late 13th and the early 20th centuries (i.e. from the Islamisation of the Mali Empire until the decline of traditional education in French Sudan).
Timbuktu : It is situated on the edge of Sahara desert and it was a key centre of Islamic learning and has become a byword for exotic remoteness in the Western imagination. Here the ancient manuscripts were preserved at the Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research, which housed between 60,000 and 100,000 manuscripts.