In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world's greatest and most brazen smugglers.
When André Bamberski's daughter died 30 years ago, he was helpless to save her. Suspicions of murder began to surround her stepfather, a German doctor named Dieter Krombach, but Bamberski could only hope the truth would prevail. But when the authorities gave up their pursuit, he knew he had to act. So against the odds, Bamberski embarked on an obsessive quest to capture and punish his daughter's killer. In this riveting true story by Joshua Hammer, a father travels to the limits of law in search of justice.
Anni and Shrien Dewani's life together was the stuff of romance novels: Love at first sight, a whirlwind courtship, a wedding proposal in Paris after a flight on Shrien's private plane. Young, wealthy, and attractive, the Dewanis were the kind of couple that seemed immune to misfortune - until they arrived in Cape Town, South Africa on their honeymoon. Barely a day later, a brutal carjacking left Anni dead and Shrien wandering alone through one of South Africa's most dangerous neighborhoods. At first, Anni Dewani's death seemed to be a random tragedy. But the police investigating the killing soon began to suspect that something more nefarious had happened.
Manny Ansar and Iyad Ag Ghali had little in common - one was a politically connected intellectual, the other a rebel waging war on behalf of his nomadic people in the middle of the Sahara. They did share one thing, though: a passion for Mali's desert blues, a haunting mix of traditional music infused with the influence of Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, and Jimi Hendrix.
"My Berlin" is from the May 11, 2016, Travel section of The New York Times. It was written by Joshua Hammer and narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel.
Diving holidays are perhaps not the first thing that comes to mind when the subject of Eritrea arises. This impoverished nation in the Horn of Africa — bordered by Ethiopia, Djibouti, Sudan and the Red Sea — was once considered among the continent’s brightest hopes. But after two decades of repression, international isolation and a forced military conscription program that has driven hundreds of thousands of young people out of the country, it has earned a reputation as the “North Korea of Africa.”
"A Diver’s Dreamscape" is from the February 19, 2017 Travel section of The New York Times. It was written by Joshua Hammer and narrated by Kristi Burns.