Skip to main content

tv   Doc Film - Monuments Men of Timbuktu  Deutsche Welle  April 30, 2018 5:15pm-6:00pm CEST

5:15 pm
so and just a reminder of our main story this hour at least twenty five people have been killed and scores injured in two back to back suicide bomb attacks in kabul as diplomatic order the islamic state group has claimed responsibility a third blast in the south killed eleven people killed. a little rock n roll and we have all of us thank you so much for spending this part of it if. we make up over three quarters of africa and up that to five we are the civil service and. they want to shape the continent's future. part of it and join our youngsters as they share their stories their dreams and their challenges the seventy seven percent platform for africa jargon.
5:16 pm
for europeans timbuktu was long a mysterious place in the middle of nowhere today it is the scene of a battle to save an endangered cultural heritage the history of this ancient trading center the gateway to the desert is still in evidence here. at the same time the city also seeks to maintain its connection to the modern world in its heyday back in the fifteenth and sixteenth century timbuktu was one of the intellectual centers of the arab african world precious collections of manuscripts contained all the knowledge of the time that knowledge still lives on in numerous family libraries. these treasures were threatened when in april twenty twelve just how does two militia occupied northern mali and timbuktu so.
5:17 pm
directing people there to tyranny. and destroying their sacred mausoleums the historic documents were in immediate danger. a unique rescue mission to save the manuscripts began. thanks. abdelkader haidara is one of the men behind the rescue mission thanks to him the cultural heritage did not fall prey to the islamist extremists. his family's library is now in safe keeping in bamako the capital of mali its collection of manuscripts is among timbuktu's largest and oldest. abdel cutter haidara is error and guardian to these treasures. the
5:18 pm
library is an important collection of scientific philosophical and theological manuscripts as well as literary texts written in arabic and african languages. the collections contain texts on issues of science and religion but also on everyday life love poems unique chronicles of west africa's kingdoms descriptions of ice surgery in the fourteenth century and discussions of the koran about the coexistence of muslims and christians that are still meaningful today haidar often refers to the old texts many of them are still surprisingly relevant. when we talk about good governance. you also have to create the necessary conditions for it. you have to do everything to find the right way to want such
5:19 pm
governance. do not forget the workers do not forget the women do not forget the children. all of society must be well governed. another manuscript describes how foreigners should be treated it cites the story of hind place by a german expert on africa who came to timbuktu in eight hundred fifty three disguised as an arab he was arrested as a spy and like some other european explorers before him was to be executed but shake. him back to spiritual leader issued an islamic legal ruling that placed barred under his protection. so not that is our guest foreigners. he did not come here with the intention to kill us not to wage war on. on we do not have the
5:20 pm
right to kill him we do not have the right to seize his belongings since he is a citizen bike everybody else. in the qur'an clearly states that no harm must come to him and not is of great significance. this is an example of islam is tolerance. for. this. but tolerance fell on hard times in timbuktu. in april twenty twelve islamist on saturday in militia invaded timbuktu and occupied the entire north of mali. in the name of islam they forced their dictatorial regime upon the population while seeing themselves as liberators. no not that it's sort of a plus if you use it in the our path is peaceful our goal is religion so we don't
5:21 pm
need to conquer anything. islam condemns weiland jihad aims at the extinction expulsion of those who oppose the spread of islam. it is not our goal to kill people for a cause bloodshed. jihad aims at cleansing the country of those who defy shari'a and oppose the spread of islam. to secure suppose a lot of the glass sharia will up with us and that is why. they came from the desert and islamist militia some of them with links to al qaida in the islamic magreb they have taken advantage of a military coup in mali's capital bamako and conquered the north of mali together with a separatist war rag later they drove away the fighters and established their sole rule. the occupying militia was heavily armed and devout true faith as they understood it came from the barrels of guns. for ten months the
5:22 pm
islamist dominated every day life. some of the young fighters were former neighbors who had recently joined the militia. they enjoyed their feeling of importance and were well paid. every day life was organized strictly according to extremely rigid rules. the behavior of women was a special form in their side. when we islamists were here we didn't look at them we lowered our heads we had to wear gloves they wouldn't take the product out of our hands we put them down they took them and gave us the money. we didn't look up again until they were gone no no part of our face was to be visible except our eyes they told us to look down and not approach anybody we weren't allowed to deal directly with them or barter products
5:23 pm
we just sat there with our eyes open they hit us and accused us of ill doings. playing soccer was outlawed as were secular music mobile phone ring tones dancing smoking and alcohol the headscarf was mandatory for women and no uncovered skin was to be seen any violations were punished severely but the holy warriors had a hard time convincing the people of timbuktu. but the old you come here claiming to be muslims because you have weapons you claim to be our leaders. instead you should assemble our muslims first and explain your knowledge of islam to them. if muslims say we don't agree with that i mean when you must bring forward your proof from the koran or the hoodie but if you quote your weapons at muslims they will be afraid want day a muslim follows god's commandments for the sole reason that his heart is with god but if he's afraid of armed people his heart is unable to reach god anymore.
5:24 pm
i mean people can be afraid of weapons and still reach god. or there was a little more book of issues. they forced a lot of things on us. we didn't respect that. the first thing that they wanted to force on ours was their method of education. we wanted our children to continue going to school. they said that boys and girls had to be taught in separate classes. in class explain to them that that was not possible. we did not have enough classrooms or enough teacher. that their class can fall in the end we had to accept boys and girls sitting in separate rows. in the.
5:25 pm
liberals. and certain classes like philosophy or the history of mali was of these were not allowed to be taught anymore this is the. by now school lessons in temple actually have returned to normal. co-education of girls and boys was against the holy warriors morals to them all western education was haraam or forbidden especially for girls because it supposedly spoiled their character. but you know during the occupation the girls of my generation felt suffocated. they weren't allowed to dress or go out the way they wanted. we were separated from our friends because many of them fled south we missed them and. we weren't able to study because our school was closed for almost an entire
5:26 pm
year we couldn't go to school so we were lagging behind in our studies compared to them and that made us interest i also felt. like. sharia is very distressing you know law demands things like chopping off someone's hand for stealing or things like that. because the girls didn't wear headscarves until the arrival of the mujahedeen they said they didn't know that islam demands that all women wear a veil they look at the europeans for guidance they watch their movies they are manipulated by western media you may be press people but you know that the media are manipulative t.v. radio all they ever talk about is the western world that is why our daughters our wives and children want to live a western lifestyle. omar hamaha used to attend secondary school in timbuktu
5:27 pm
himself together with girls by occupying timbuktu he and his followers wanted to stop the advance of western lifestyle as they put it mark will have seen here with his followers during the occupation in twenty twelve had a hard time winning over timbuktu's population and the local media to his religious goals. the chasm between his fundamentalist ideas and the historic city of learning and trade was too large. for the west timbuktu has long been a place of fable full of mystery and immeasurable treasures a symbol of the remote and unknown. but the city known as the pearl of the desert has centuries of history as an important west african crossroads today it belongs to mali. timbuktu has long been the gateway to the sahara desert and the
5:28 pm
world beyond. today it is home to some thirty thousand people who seek to maintain a connection to the modern world while maintaining many of their old traditions. just a few years ago ethnic conflicts were rare most of the time people coexisted peacefully fair skinned arabs and one song god bella and many other ethnic groups with their different languages and cultures. girls went on veiled and confident women handle business and teenagers probably thought of the same things as they do most everywhere in the ginger bear mosque dates back to the fourteenth century together with the other great mosques of timbuktu it formed the hub of west african scholarship during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in more than one hundred fifty quranic schools affiliated with the mosques the most distinguished islamic
5:29 pm
scholars of the magreb talk more than twenty thousand students they studied the koran and the prophet's life conducted scientific research and wrote down their findings in manuscripts to this day a moderate form of islam is practiced here strongly influenced by sufism and african religions. up to a man ben s.l.u.t. leads friday prayers a ginger bear lost. the in the longs to a centuries old dynasty of scholars he watches over his family's library. to live a little of his career. many manuscripts have been passed down through generations
5:30 pm
. still and a great deal of them were not preserved properly and were damaged by whether want termites. forefathers didn't know how important these manuscripts were on. the. sober. work on one of the. many family libraries near timbuktu are in a disastrous condition they desperately need to be saved from destruction. up till carter haidara takes long drives to surrounding villages to inspect the manuscripts . he's been trying for years to convince the family leaders to hand over their
5:31 pm
treasures to his institute that way they can be restored as quickly as possible and . negotiations are often long and tedious because they say they can't just hand over the family legacy. dora tries to convince the patriarch that soon nothing will remain to pass on to further generations if nothing is done to preserve the brittle manuscripts. the restoration work took place and haidar is enjoying a workshop called d.c.i. or in the state run institute in timbuktu. that was until war broke out in two thousand and twelve.
5:32 pm
according to legend madame bach too used to wait by a well in the desert looking after the belongings of the caravans the travelers would camp here in order to rest at. back to the well of block two. it was located at the crossroads for trade routes that link to the mediterranean with the heart of africa. timbuktu has always been a place of encounter and cultural transformation. here a new civilization emerged he lay on the route to mecca the way north of a mark hughes route. with as long as people and goods pass for through here jim back to flourish the. traders from the margret also brought islam and their culture to west africa. the
5:33 pm
caravans transported salt ivory cold and slaves to egypt and morocco these were traded for crowns weapons and books in a sense timbuktu was the first global city and africa a center for the exchange of goods and knowledge a place of tolerance and coexistence of the many different peoples and cultures of the sahara region who came there to trade so you should prove to them but it is true for the founders do this exchange of goods could be of material but also of the immaterial nature of your culture and writings books were an important trading commodity or. that you could earn the most money in timbuktu your books who if you had you were not considered poor. and if you were a capias to did not live in poverty. there's a children all who were sent to timbuktu by their parents under trade.
5:34 pm
is all of this contributed to timbuktu's prosperity. there was no paper but it was important porter shipped from morocco and europe with. everything that was needed was transported on the caravan routes see the caravans also carried books which were then solver to live or live under some people who were not the first and foremost your traders would copy and write books and then sound and it really is a volatile. you. can't change. a little book called it was all scholars and peoples meant to study the writings in the homes of
5:35 pm
theologians and preachers known as mother. son law hardly a solo he. was. not a. book left for mean lot about six or large marabou families had their own manuscripts. they were family out of time together in the civil. but their set up the world believe it or not so on but lent out if you needed a book you would borrow it from america. music the world in with. me. in the world. well i think.
5:36 pm
the manuscripts were also important guidebooks for people's daily lives in timbuktu and gave practical advice if for example a woman asked herself whether her illegitimate child could gain entry to paradise. if i know that you're entering into paradise depends soley on good conduct everyone who dies as a muslim will enter paradise. this also applies to illegitimate children so there is no difference. each of us is responsible for his or her own actions. in a child is not responsible for its parents actions towards god. according to the koran no one carries the burden of another person all people are responsible for themselves just as. right from the beginning
5:37 pm
just how the rebels occupied the ottoman institute the state research center with its important library the basement contained over eleven thousand valuable manuscripts with a qur'anic interpretations in the old manuscripts not consistent with the fundamentalist islamic teachings where the manuscripts in danger muhammadiyah a researcher at the institute was very concerned. yes to. the institute was a band that most of the employees had fled during the occupation. they left the manuscripts to their own faded. for the future seemed bleak but there was no work so they were forced to leave. but nobody was permitted to enter the building which was built by south africa. nobody was allowed to enter except for the occupying forces a. new people every one was concerned the head of the ahmed baba
5:38 pm
institute the owners of the family libraries the population of timbuktu the delegation was sent into the jihadi camp to ensure that the manuscripts were safe but. what value do the manuscripts of timber to have to you as an intellectual. so how do they contain our history they are us what are we without the manuscripts in this institute we can't imagine a community without them they are our history our culture. so you would do everything in your power to protect the manuscripts. we don't even need to discuss this. but was he to be trusted with the jihadists really safeguard the manuscripts. after the meeting the director wasn't sure.
5:39 pm
if we can cooperate with an sardines people. to their understanding people. it is also their culture their religion. they to have grandfathers and trusted us with manuscripts. we share the same religion. so far nothing has been destroyed. but cars were confiscated and motorbikes. we don't know what's going to happen. but if you then followed what many people had predicted in maine twenty twelve rebels began destroying the mausoleums. believers were supposed to pray directly to allah not to an ancient shrine. but. other when we destroyed that people said we disturb the grades but we didn't do anything to them. why would we have gone into
5:40 pm
the graves we didn't disturb any graves we aren't even allowed to disturb the graves of nonbelievers according to islam building a house on top of the great that is not allowed. we destroyed the muslims we didn't disturb any graves so we did nothing wrong with it because a muslim is not consistent with sharia. law i don't understand why it's not consistent with sharia it's not allowed on the mound of the grave must be lower than the needle. but prices threaten the survival of the libraries because. this is the conquest of timbuktu came as a surprise. nobody saw it coming. after one month people ask themselves how things are going to continue like this when will it stop. slowly but surely they understood that these people had not come because of
5:41 pm
islam but because about other things. or the schools so we decided to take matters into our own hands so organised. after witnessing the destruction of the mausoleums everyone was aware that the manuscripts were in grave danger and. an amazing rescue mission began. on office of the young big air we decided to save the books because of the war in the north of mali wand i. knew everyone was fleeing on our side but that i would leave the traders with their goods and their money. our fortune lies in our cultural heritage. so we did everything in our power to smuggle it out of the war sound and i think that is the normal thing to do.
5:42 pm
the manuscripts were first removed from the publicly known libraries because the jihadists would target them first. the libraries were empty shelves and showcases cleared. in may twenty twelve thousand works were safely removed from him on ben i saw you tease library imo. this was to be just the beginning of a large scale rescue mission that lasted six months. though some of this you can look at the club we secretly hit the manuscript to send
5:43 pm
specially main trunk. of the gun because. but lot of little malice because. these were then carried away by river. with more in cars or with donkey carts across the city on that i've. been in absolute secrecy legally this goes we'll. force for truth for mother screamed. at first the trunks were stored in the homes of the families the books originally belonged to. unesco and its representative in mali followed the operation from sidelights world heritage was at stake here music that. we were in daily contact with them. and we had the obligation and a great responsibility not only to protect our sources of information but also protect those who were putting their lives at stake here or. the people who were
5:44 pm
trying to save the manuscripts the manuscript in the face of. some families decided to hide their libraries in timbuktu. during the occupation everyone tried to hide their manuscripts. some of them took them to bamako. we decided to store them here in different locations. we believe the transporting them through the streets would have involved too many obstacles and was too dangerous. we weren't sure if they would make it to bamako. so the family council decided to divide the trunks up among family members and hide them and various secret locations here in timbuktu. most of the manuscripts however we
5:45 pm
shipped safely out of the city in october twenty twelve the un security council declared its readiness to respond to molly's request for an international military force. it was clear that the world cultural heritage had to be evacuated from the war zone to prevent it from being destroyed by car. by boat by motorbike by road by waterway. a new issues. evacuation of the manuscripts had began north of young men as. we were informed that. we had to keep the mission a secret do we had to protect those who were risking their lives or supplant. so basically. the trunks were transported over
5:46 pm
a thousand kilometers to monkeys capital bamako. are the crowd on what would a man we removed many manuscripts from the war zone to be precise we managed to salvage ninety five percent of the region's manuscripts the horror near the land but the jihad as this were not the only problem again and again there were incidents with police officers during the long journey. every checkpoint could potentially put a stop to the evacuation mission. it was a dangerous mission about two hundred activists and volunteers were involved often risking their own lives more than two thousand trunks were smuggled from timbuktu to bamako with no losses. every checkpoint posed
5:47 pm
a security threat would police officers allow them to pass or would they confiscate the trunks believing them to hold stored on its. own. there was. another. one of. those in charge of the operation repeatedly had to intervene either in person or by telephone and give confirmation to the police officers that everything was above board and the necessary paperwork was available for inspection. this went on day after day night after night for several months. and quite did say the incredible courage that these heroes of timber. to display to the packers not simply remain soley the responsibility of mali. we
5:48 pm
needed to help them. using all our resources we informed the international community event on this or that. and we also contacted the un security council important we sounded the alarm. we wanted the world to know what was happening in mali antin back to. perth. yet i'm booked on a pad and we could only intervene with the means available to us. you know and we were frustrated because you know sco doesn't have an army or that in a square the. military forces then moved in in january twenty third team during operation set about the french and mali and forces we took timbuktu as well as the entire north of mali. the islamist insurgents often retreated without
5:49 pm
resistance into the desert and disappeared without a trace. but they left behind destroyed mausoleums burned manuscripts and a traumatized population. while we're treating the hottest had burned about four thousand manuscripts. playing. you for weeks french and mali and troops relentlessly pushed forward into northern mali tanks world along the main road between timbuktu and bamako. the evacuation of manuscripts was either recruited to side roads or to into new by boat. or. sometimes a transportation vehicle was shot at an error from an aircraft when it was suspected that weapons were in the trunks.
5:50 pm
to shoot. the strategy of these armed groups to groups that navy was to take everything from the residents of timbuktu that was of vital importance to them it. is fallin if that is taken from them or they no longer have any points of reference. it will be as if they had never even existed. there make there they exist in a package of war of one land if you are nothing. it's easy to manipulate here. i am a government when they can do what they like with you. we had to prevent that cost what it may is going to differ young absalom us over it as of the.
5:51 pm
day i think. we had to look on as the more the limbs were destroyed shows the same as happened in power my rebellious. and i'm sure same as happened in most of of most. that ensures the same as happened in yemen yemen and in other countries. after more than six months the rescue operation was largely completed over three hundred seventy seven thousand manuscripts from thirty five family libraries and the state owned library had been saved ninety nine percent and all. the last trusts
5:52 pm
arrived in bamako in february twenty thirty in the family libraries from timbuktu were finally in safety again in the new center belonging to haidar as n.g.o.s. haidar check the condition of the box as a manuscript had they been further damaged during transport in the baloch oh a new danger was awaiting the manuscript had been preserved for centuries in a dry desert climate and were already in fragile condition in bamako a rainy season lasting several months and high humidity took a further toll on the old documents the restoration work that had begun before the occupation was now even more urgent. but most of timbuktu's mausoleums couldn't be protected from the islamists vandalism thirteen of the sixteen ancient tombs had been destroyed. reconstruction of this world cultural
5:53 pm
heritage in timbuktu began soon after liberation with the help of unesco the working clued the mausoleum at ben i so u.t.s. ginger bear mosque. with the support of the international community and all the buildings have been. reconstructed. but without military protection this part of our world cultural heritage could not have been preserved. that is one of the better lessons learned from timbuktu. at the sub on the institute in bamako the work of preserving the manuscripts which had been interrupted by war could finally be resumed. it's a race against time. every loose leaf collection of documents is given its own box for protection and storage.
5:54 pm
next the documents are catalogued and digitalized. the long term objective is to create a central catalog and a public online database that can be accessed by international researchers so far only a small portion of the manuscripts have been studied by researchers. this one is crucial for the public the manuscripts that have been heavily damaged must be repaired and restored as soon as possible. but most important of all focus and they have to be translated for the right. if focus would translate them and make them available to the public at large why do you live. in the western understanding of africa it's often assumed that the continents
5:55 pm
tradition is only an oral one passed on through stories music and dance but the manuscripts show that the african continent has a long history of islamic scholarship and literacy and an important scientific and philosophical tradition now this cultural heritage can be made available to everyone for africans it is part of their identity. all of timbuktu's heritage is based on its manuscripts. education is based on their good conduct morals are based on the manuscripts they embody the light of till about two. every restored manuscript that is added to the shelves makes this light shine again . for me to be excellent example of him to can give courage and strength to other people as well. everywhere
5:56 pm
in the world. if it worked in him to do it can work in moser mash and in palmyra. mashi it can work in tunisia the mashie in libya yemen. where your men whenever world cultural heritage becomes a military target it population must not be left alone to deal with it. that is why we see timbuktu as a great success story. and take on success. haidara two can be proud of the successful rescue mission but to this day some of his dreams remain unfulfilled. moreover my
5:57 pm
dream is that one day we'll be able to say there are no problems left in timbuktu on them they're meant to take all our manuscripts and return them to timbuktu so that's my dream was that day has yet to come it will take some time before the manuscripts can safely return to timbuktu. the jihadists have been expelled for now but they have not been defeated the situation in timbuktu remains tense and its cultural heritage is still in danger. the manuscript still have a long journey home i had of them.
5:58 pm
well maybe evil history and heritage you best. died listen to absolutely mr is a city with many faces looked into the cultural riches of the city and its well known six surrounding well more than one hundred castles and palaces of course the best way to do a trip to the countryside is by by. ten thirty two spot douglas.
5:59 pm
called the germans came together in one nation from showing the money to chancellor also from bismarck. the history of the germans has been shaped by great movers. i swell always to bring my loyal politics back to protect christendom and spread this line truth. if you please mum took place. i only took a life because of the enemy. and stand by courageous decisions based on close your mouth your research perceived problems of her own cook not from his presumptuous circle the romans just. saw claiming we must fall to pieces place. the german starting may thirteenth kong g.w. .
6:00 pm
player. this is the only news life for a girl in deadly blasts in afghanistan coronated suicide bombings leave her trail. a lot of bloodshed and wreaked havoc in the capital the two blasts rocked kabul's diplomatic quarter killing at least twenty five people and injuring many more in a separate suicide attack in the south eleven children are believed to have been killed also coming up could there be a transatlantic trade war all the european union says it's ready to react if the u.s. slaps tear song aluminum and steel imports on tuesday.

11 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on