Life in Timbuktu:
how the ancient city of gold is slowly turning to dust
(a long-form article from the Guardian with an accompanying photo gallery
Bonfire of the Humanities.
"Nobody goes to Timbuktu, right? Patrick Symmes did, to discover what happened when jihadi rebels set out to burn one of the world’s finest collections
of ancient manuscripts
. Bouncing around by truck, boat, and boots, he got an intimate look at West Africa’s most mythic locale." [Via] [more inside]
Militants versus musicians in Mali.
Extremist groups controlling Northern Mali [previously
] have been cracking down
on musicians. "Western" music has been banned, but so has Mali's age-old griot tradition
. [more inside]
We've discussed developments in the breakaway Azawad region in Northern Mali here before
. The two factions which composed the Azawad government, the nationalist MNLA
and the Islamist Ansar Dine broke their alliance
, with Ansar Dine now controlling all of the major settlements within the recently declared Awazad.
Their treatment of the ancient Muslim shrines of Timbuktu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
, has not been kind.
If this reminds you of another recent act of destruction against our shared cultural heritage, well, you're not alone. [more inside]