The Bad-Ass Librarians Of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer tells the the story of how hundreds of thousands of ancient texts were rescued in 2012 from almost being destroyed by jihadists in Mali. See below for a partial photograph of these documents:
These documents give the reader a taste of what Timbuktu and this region once was. This book is more than just a retelling of the escape of these manuscripts but also the telling of the history of jihad in the area and Mali’s own Arab Spring.
The author describes the horror and brutality that are given out by these young jihadists to the residents and how the librarian, Abdel Kader Haidara, who had spent his lifetime in gathering these north African manuscripts into a central library, faces the challenge in saving these documents and figuring out how to smuggle them out of Timbuktu.
This looks to be a great read in understanding a part of the world in which I am not familiar with and its history.
Here is a video from the author for your viewing pleasure: