Alahednews
english.alahednews.com.lb
Al-Ahed Telegram
Trump Backs Down On Border Wall Funding US Transports THAAD Parts To Deployment Site in South Korea China Launches 1st Home-Built Aircraft Carrier, Boosts Naval Power Lavrov on Breakdown of Int’l Order: Today There are No More Rules Battle for Mosul: Iraqi Forces Retake Largest Western Neighborhood Indian Cows to Get Unique ID Number! Pentagon Chief: US to Step Up Support for Saudis Imam Khamenei: World Must Realize Why US, «Israel» Are Hostile towards Islam Netanyahu to Cancel Meeting with German FM World’s First Malaria Vaccine to Be Tested in 3 African Countries #LePen Steps Aside as #NationalFront Leader Bomb Blast Hits Area near #Afghan Army Base #Sweden Arrests another Suspect over #Stockholm Attack #Afghan Defense Minister, Army Chief Resign after #Taliban Raid Arrested #Italian Reporter Freed in #Turkey #Kuwaiti Opposition Leader Freed from Prison Army Arrests 10 ’Dangerous Terrorists’ In Northeast #Lebanon 5 Detained in #Brussels After #Terror-Related Searches #French Authorities Discuss Election Security after #Paris Shooting Police Search Home of #ChampsElysees Suspect
Guestbook mailinglist.php arabic site french site spanish site facebook twitter rss page
News Categories » NEWS » Miscellaneous

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size  Print Page
Bookstore on Wheels Turns Heads in Baghdad!
Local Editor

The Iraqis guarding Baghdad's many checkpoints, on the lookout for car bombs and convoys, don't know what to make of Ali al-Moussawi when he pulls up in a truck displaying shelves of glossy books.

Ali al-Moussawi and his book-truck

The mobile bookstore is the latest in a series of efforts by the 25-year-old to share his passion for reading and revive a love for books in Baghdad, which was once the literary capital of the Muslim world but is now better known for bombs than poems.

It began with "Iraqi Bookish," a Facebook group for readers launched in 2015. He eventually started organizing book clubs, contests, signings and writing seminars held at cultural centers and cafes.

"I adore reading," said al-Moussawi, who holds a bachelor's degree in English translation. "I have long wanted to meet people like me, so I was thinking of creating something where all readers could gather at any time, regardless of where they are."

He eventually took to selling books in order to finance the cultural activities, opening a bookstand in a Baghdad mall that offers a delivery service and designing shelves and other book-themed gifts.

Now he finds himself steering a bookstore on wheels through Baghdad's snarled traffic, past its checkpoints, barbed wire and blast walls. Security forces often insist on searching his truck, fearing it contains explosives, and parking can be subject to prolonged negotiations.

The city still takes pride in its literary heritage. The al-Mutanabbi market in central Baghdad, named for a 10th century poet, hosts a bustling used book fair every Friday. The Shahbandar cafe, in the heart of the bazaar, remains a popular haunt for writers and intellectuals, who gaze upon black and white photos from more peaceful times.

Al-Moussawi found plenty of customers. He said his business brings in a monthly income of up to $4,000, and that he had hired four paid workers.

On one recent afternoon, al-Moussawi drove to an upscale neighborhood and parked at a mall near the University of Baghdad. There the clientele was mainly students, so he put out textbooks, novels and poetry in different languages, and celebrity biographies.

Salma Abdul-Karim, a 25-year old student, said her passion for reading came from growing up in a family of poetry lovers, but on that afternoon she opted for a biography of Oprah Winfrey.

"I love biographies because they tell you about the experiences a person went through so you can benefit from it," she said.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

18-04-2017 | 14:36


Name
E-Mail
Comment Title
Comment
Validtion Image


News Coverage

Related News

Search
To Top