Other than the vanished empires, ancient manuscripts, and armed rebellion, this post has nothing to do with gaming
Last month, this article showed up in The New Republic: How a team of sneaky librarians duped Al Qaeda . It describes how a team of librarians, archivists, couriers, and regular people smuggled a huge trove of priceless ancient manuscripts out of Timbuktu in the midst of a fundamentalist uprising, essentially saving them from being destroyed forever.
Unfortunately, the manuscripts are still in danger from the change in climate and conditions. I'm involved in running an Indeigogo campaign to help fund the preservation effort. The project is appealing to me as a gamer, a geek, and a lover of knowledge. It's like being present when the Library of Alexandria has caught fire and finding you have a bucket handy.
There's a lot about this project that's amazingly cool. Not only is it chance to save something priceless from disappearing forever, but it's a chance to personally become a part of saving it. We're able to physically put each contributor's dedication on the box of a manuscript they helped save. I suggest checking out the video. It's worth seeing.