Voilà ce qui s’appelle de la prescience ou au moins de la prévoyance : les bibliothécaires de la librairie de Tombouctou ont déplacé en secret environ 28000 manuscrits vers Mopti depuis 1 an depuis l’arrivée des islamistes fan d’autodafé dans le nord du pays…
Kuddos à vous : la plume est plus forte que l’épée…
Their final act before leaving was to go through the exhibition room in the institute, as well as the whitewashed laboratory used to restore the age-old parchments. They grabbed the books they found and burned them.
However, they didn’t bother searching the old building, where an elderly man named Abba Alhadi has spent 40 of his 72 years on earth taking care of rare manuscripts. The illiterate old man, who walks with a cane and looks like a character from the Bible, was the perfect foil for the Islamists. They wrongly assumed that the city’s European-educated elite would be the ones trying to save the manuscripts, he said.
So last August, Alhadi began stuffing the thousands of books into empty rice and millet sacks.
At night, he loaded the millet sacks onto the type of trolley used to cart boxes of vegetables to the market. He pushed them across town and piled them into a lorry and onto the backs of motorcycles, which drove them to the banks of the Niger River.
From there, they floated down to the central Malian town of Mopti in a pinasse, a narrow, canoe-like boat. Then cars drove them from Mopti, the first government-controlled town, to Mali’s capital, Bamako, over 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from here.
« I have spent my life protecting these manuscripts. This has been my life’s work. And I had to come to terms with the fact that I could no longer protect them here, » said Alhadi. « It hurt me deeply to see them go, but I took strength knowing that they were being sent to a safe place. »
It took two weeks in all to spirit out the bulk of the collection, around 28,000 texts housed in the old building covering the subjects of theology, astronomy, geography and more.