Summer is here, and this month Between the Lines book club is off to Mali with The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer. This book describes the efforts of Abdel Kader Haidara to save priceless ancient manuscripts from jihadists. It’s a tale of scholarship, politics, war, and many, many bribes. We will be discussing the book at Arden Dimick Library on June 23 at 10:30AM.
Here’s a review fom the New York Times
National Geographic posted this interview, which includes photos
NPR posted an interview with Joshua Hammer here. Here’s a quote from the interview:
One of the things that I think is important to draw from it is to realize that there is this whole strain of Islam that is moderate, that celebrates intellectuality, that celebrates culture, that celebrates diversity, secular ideas, poetry, love, human beauty. I think that is lost in this debate that’s going on. We tend to really kind of turn against Islam because of the actions of this particularly violent group.
But I think in fact that the Islam represented by those in Timbuktu and the badass librarians is in fact more representative of what Islam is. And these people [who] were the real victims of extremism in this part of the world are fellow Muslims. They were the ones who really suffered. They were the ones who had their hands and feet chopped off, who had to live through the horror of daily occupation.
For the most part, we see this from afar, but these people are on the front lines and they are living through the horror of radicalism every day and every minute.
See you at book club!