Finally the dream became true – 7,000 books arrive in Mosul
In 2015, IS fighters deliberately destroyed the library of the University of Mosul, burning thousands of books on philosophy, science, law and poetry in what UNESCO called “one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history.”
Yesterday, thanks to the support of our donors, publishing partners and volunteers 7,000 carefully selected books arrived in Mosul where they were given a warm welcome by the University staff. Dr. Alaa Hamdon from the University of Mosul said:
On behalf of Mosul Book Bridge campaign and as a Mosuloan, I would like to say that Book Aid International will stay inside of Mosul’s heart. Today is the best day in my life, I feel that I have achieved something for my university. I am so so happy. My hope and my dream is those books being used by students and readers.
In addition to the books for the university, the shipment also included thousands of children’s books to support War Child UK’s work with Iraqi children. Jessica Oddy, Education in Emergencies Advisor for War Child UK, explained the power of those books:
The books can be used to set up reading circles, mobile libraries and storytelling, which can be an incredibly powerful therapeutic tool to process and reflect upon their experiences and stimulate hope for the future.
The need for more books
The books which arrived on Monday are just the start. Mosul is the most challenging location to which we have ever sent books. We encountered many false starts, logistical challenges and frustrations in trying to find a safe way to transport the books. After a year of hard work, our team found a safe route – and now we hope to send another shipment as soon as the university and our other partners are ready to receive them.
But these shipments are very expensive and we need more funds so that we can send more desperately needed books. We also need many more higher education books to rebuild the university’s lost collection.
If you are a publisher, author or member of the book trade and have new books that you would like to donate, please contact Simon Mercer.