When Steven and I were living in Mali, we met fellow Fulbrighter Alexandra Huddleston who had been living in Timbuktu for ten months (!) photographing the rich tradition of religious scholarship in the fabled town. (All photos below are by her, of course.)
She is naturally distraught by the wave of terror and destruction that the Islamic rebel group Ansar Dine has brought to the region since they took over in April. So she has created a beautiful and informative video that explains some of the history and current situation of Timbuktu for her project 333 Saints: A Life of Scholarship Under Threat.
Having lived there myself, I can tell you it perfectly captures the place. Thank you Alexandra for helping spread the word.