Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Click to enlarge:

Thank you Beau.
The Bombing of Mutanabbi Street
Baghdad, Iraq
March 5, 2007

On March 5th 2007, a car bomb was exploded on Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad. Mutanabbi Street is in a mixed Shia-Sunni area. More than 30 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded. This locale is the historic center of Baghdad bookselling, a winding street filled with bookstores and outdoor book stalls. Named after the famed 10th-century classical Arab poet, Al-Mutanabbi, this is an old and established street for bookselling and has been for hundreds of years. Mutanabbi Street also holds cafes, stationery shops, and even tea and tobacco shops. It has been the heart and soul of the Baghdad literary and intellectual community.

This tragedy is part of a wider and continuing tragedy, but one that we want to isolate and address---not only for the loss of lives but also for the implications underlying the destruction of a street where books were sold. Bookselling on Mutanabbi Street is no different from bookselling here. We traffic in memory, ideas, and dreams. In that sense, we feel that Mutanabbi Street starts at the front door of all of our bookshops. We strongly feel a need to respond. For that reason, we are putting together a memorial poetry reading for Mutanabbi Street, with any money raised to go to Doctors Without Borders. We have also started to form a coalition of booksellers, writers, artists, printers and readers. The reading will take place in the San Francisco Main Library Auditorium, August 26th, at 1 P.M.

These are some of the things we ask of you......
to put up a poster announcing the memorial reading
to perhaps host a small reading at your store dedicated to the book sellers and readers of Mutanabbi Street
to become involved in the coalition, in any way possible
and finally, to not allow the grim reality of this tragic bombing to slip into the numbness that has come about due to the daily horrors of this war.

Contact: Beau Beausoleil
The Great Overland Book Company
345 Judah St. San Francisco, Ca.

No comments :