“There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism” Walter Benjamin
Today I received an update on the status of the Ahmad Baba library in Timbuktu following news that it might have been torched as the rebels retreated.
Dr Shamil Jeppie, who heads the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project (
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My readers might have noticed that I was totally silent following the attempted assassination of the courageous young education activist Malala Yusufzai from the Swat region. I was silenced by a deep disgust at the deeds of these Pakistani Taliban criminals. Anger, outrage and depression do not explain my …
It struck me that the West Indian historian, C L R James’ analysis of history reveals extraordinary insight. He wrote:
“The cruelties of property and privilege are always more ferocious than the revenges of poverty and oppression. For the one aims at perpetuating resented injustice, the other is merely a momentary …