Desert libraries in Mauritania: Treasures in need of protection

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The video item below is a piece of English language content from France 24. France 24 is a French state-owned international news television network based in Paris.

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  • FRANCE 24 English published this video item, entitled “Desert libraries in Mauritania: Treasures in need of protection” – below is their description.

    Remarkable treasures lie dormant in Mauritania. Thousands of manuscripts and books dating back to the 12th and 13th century are housed in libraries in the city of Chinguetti, the site of an ancient trading route. These ancient books were left by pilgrims on their way to Mecca or brought back from countries across the Islamic world. But the conservation of these rare works is a colossal challenge. They are threatened by extreme heat, termites and desert sands. Our colleagues at France 2 report, with FRANCE 24’s Jennie Shin.

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    France is a republic and the largest Western European nation. Through expansion and colonisation in the 17th and 18th centuries France became a great power and still retains territories around the world. It has a seat on the UN security council and is the world’s fourth most wealthy country with a high standard of living and strong cultural identity.

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  • In This Story: Mauritania

    Mauritania, officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is a country in Northwest Africa.

    Approximately 90% of Mauritania’s land is within the Sahara; consequently, the population is concentrated in the south, where precipitation is slightly higher.

    The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast, which is home to around one-third of the country’s 4 million people.

    The country’s official religion is Islam, with almost the entire population being Sunni Muslims. Arabic is the official language, with French also widely used due to its colonial history.

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