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How are local bookshops helping revive Iraq’s literary community?

Despite years of warfare, censorship, and dictatorships in Iraq, writers and intellectuals have determinedly assembled to exchange ideas and discuss their experiences.

In 2007, the place has been subject to a terror attack that killed around 30 people and wounded hundreds more.

With the years, what was formerly a debilitating embodiment of battle failed something of a literary renaissance.

Nowadays, academics and authors come from throughout the nation to find new manuscripts and talk about their job, particularly on Fridays, the road’s busiest day.

Poet Sa’eed Al-Rodham was coming here since he was a young guy.

“As someone considering civilization, I attended this road for the very first time throughout the 1970s,” he muses. “Now, I’m publishing my novels within this road. We may say, it’s the vein of culture”

Adham Adul, yet another poet, possesses a store on the road.

Passionate about social and political justice, he’s published five books on the topic. His words came at a cost and watched him spend three weeks in prison.

“There’s an old saying that says,’If you would like to be a poet, then simply be an Iraqi person,”’ he states. “I discovered that poetry can change individuals, can change their minds, can change their ideas, and can alter their ideologies. Since we’re people, regardless of all of the violence, we’ve got goodness in our hearts and we’re calm.”

After the so-called Islamic Condition team entered the town in the summer of 2014, but the group systematically destroyed lots of libraries and burnt books.

“The road was steady and it had been the core of the city. It was always packed with people, from morning until night,” he remembers. “Afterward, when problems began, and ISIS entered slowly, problems erupted inside. People began speaking less..and therefore it got simpler. [There was] uncertainty and distress.”

It required Al-Krikchy over a year to reconstruct his shop and reopen for business.

After the liberation of Mosul, another book enthusiast, Fahad Al-Gburi, believed that the only means for individuals to heal from the trauma of warfare was supposed to rebuild the city’s society.

Four months after, the engineer-turned-entrepreneur opened the book Forum’, a cultural café at East Mosul.

Now, Iraqis gather there to publicly debate science, literature, and politics — all of which have been formerly banned. The cafe also hosts a female authors club.

E-books: A favorite alternative during hard times

The young girls who frequent the café, describe that novels were their refuge during the job. With literature not available, a key library of digital publications emerged, and USBs full of manuscripts popped up on the black market.

“At the time of ISIS, there was anxiety that we could die any moment,” says Aya Abduljabbar Salim, a part of this author’s team. “This is the reason why I chose to immerse myself in novels — burying myself in writing and reading. I stopped being scared of this war.”

Brought together by their passion for phrases, many aspiring writers in Iraq believe that the serenity of the town is located in literacy.

“Novels are always significant, however our society was not very alert to the significance of studying,” says Aisha Abdulsattar Abdullah, yet another member of this author’s team. “We watched what happened to us for this. We saw the degree of destruction it caused since we did not disperse the understanding that was saved in these novels.”

Mohammed browsed Al Mutanabi Street because of his second read.

Muhammad Ali seized this time between friends in Iraq’s famous book marketplace.