Ancient manuscripts in Iraq saved from ISIL

Dominican friar Najeeb Michaeel has managed to pack some rare manuscripts and 16th-century books and smuggle them out of ISIL battlegrounds.

by

    When the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) was trying to carve out its own caliphate four years ago, its members destroyed thousands of Christian and Muslim relics and monuments.

    But Dominican friar Najeeb Michaeel managed to pack some rare manuscripts and 16th-century books and smuggle them out of ISIL battlegrounds.

    With the help of other Dominican priests, he moved them to Erbil's Oriental Manuscript Digitisation Centre.

    Father Najeeb is now training helpers, who will ensure digital copies are preserved for posterity, and the originals returned to their owners.

    Al Jazeera's Paul Chaderjian reports.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    We explore how Salah Ed-Din unified the Muslim states and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from the crusaders.