10,000 books reach the library that ISIS destroyed

4th November 2021 | News

We are so pleased to announce that this week 10,295 additional UK publisher donated books reached the University of Mosul library, bringing the total number of books provided by us to 20,099. We have been supporting the University of Mosul since 2018 when we were approached by local group Mosul Book Bridge which was seeking books for the library.  

The University of Mosul library once housed more than one million books, including many priceless and irreplaceable texts. When Islamic State occupied Mosul in 2014, the library was one of their first targets. They destroyed the library in a direct attack on learning and free thought – burning the library’s collection in what UNESCO called “one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history.” 

We have committed to supporting the University of Mosul library by providing 50,000 brand new books to help restore the lost collection. The 10,295 books which arrived this week include higher education texts in the sciences, engineering, the humanities and medical subjects. 

This week, the 60,000 students and teachers who have returned to learning at the university are making use of the books provided so far to support their education and the UN has committed to rebuilding the library’s building. Sayf Al Ashqar, Secretary-General of Libraries at The University of Mosul, spoke of his excitement about the library’s future:  

“The rebuilding of our Central Library sends a clear message that ISIS and groups like it can never exterminate the will to read, learn and understand. We envision our library as a modern hub where anyone who values knowledge can access a wide range of books, discover new ideas and join in conversations with others who also value education and contact. We thank Book Aid International for these book donations which are helping us move one step forward to realising our aim.”

Our Chief Executive Alison Tweed said:

“Libraries have an essential role to play not just in education, but also in giving everyone a space where reading and learning can flourish – and that is why we are delighted to have provided over 20,000 brand new books to the University of Mosul as they work to bring their library back to life. These books will feed discussion, fuel debate and support students as they return to their studies. We would like to thank the UK publishers who generously donated these books to us.”

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