“The last city of al-Andalus is neither Malaga nor Algeciras, it is Timbuktu” –Ismael Diadie Kati, Malian library owner of Andalusi origin.
This is the story of one of history’s most interesting (and least known) odysseys: that of the Kati Family Manuscripts. From al-Andalus (medieval Spain) to the Niger River Basin, few manuscripts in history have a story as interesting as these ones.
Threatened by the political upheaval in Mali, the fate of these manuscripts remains to be a question mark.
What is the story of these manuscripts? How did the story start in Toledo and end in Timbuktu? How did they survive the Inquisition in Spain and successive wars and cultural holocausts in Western Africa? Why are they important and where are they now? Here is the full story in my latest article, published today by Ahram Online: