Saturday, March 23, 2013

Iraqi librarian saved 30,000 books during 2003 invasion! Wow!

Ten years ago this week, British forces entered Iraq’s second city, Basra, as part of the U.S.-led invasion of the country.

No one remembers that decisive event more so than librarian Alia Baqer.

Known locally as a cultural hero, Baqer moved to rescue the contents of Basra’s central library before everything was lost.

“At the beginning of the war on Iraq, the governor [of Basra] took the library over as a headquarters for himself and his guards, mounting machine guns on top of the building. So, we asked the governor if we could take the important books to our homes, but he rejected the idea. Eventually we took the responsibility ourselves to transfer the books, without the governor’s approval,” she said, looking back ten years.

As U.S.-led forces took over the country, security broke down and looting spread.

 Baqer and her staff moved fast to carry the most precious books to safety, transporting them in curtains to the Hammdan restaurant next door. Full story...

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  2. The destruction of the Jaffna Tamil Library in Sri Lanka, a cultural genocide...
  3. Man banned from “all libraries on the face of the earth”
  4. Mexico, the country that stopped reading...
  5. Meet the unlikely group that saved Timbuktu’s manuscripts...
  6. German culture mininstry official stole 13,000 books!!!

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