Treasures in Timbuktu
Reporter: Robert Amos (New Zealand)
Network: SBS (Australia)
Program: Dateline - http://sbs.com.au/dateline/
Format: FLV (1000kbps)
This documentary traces the rich intellectual history of the ancient center for African trade, Timbuktu. The richness of its literary history starkly at odds with its popular perception as 'the back of nowhere'. The program details the preservation of large numbers of scriptures across generations, their modern restoration and archival, and the rebuilding of the libraries for which the town was once famed. Though Timbuktu once had a university at which 25,000 students studied, the entire town population is now 30,000 and it takes nearly 24 hours through the desert by four wheel drive to reach the capital of the country, Mali. However, people both within and outside of Mali are predicting and funding its restoration as an intellectual center, potentially an important center for a new, pan-African renaissance.