Saturday, March 27, 2004

Al-Mutanabbe St. 

Yesterday, my friend and I went to Al-Mutanabbe St., this street is famous, located in the center of Baghdad.. it’s full of books, it’s one of Baghdad traditions.. On Friday, many educated people go by this street to purchase books.
There’re many vendors, most of them are enlightened and educated, some of them have the Master degrees in Art, science, some of them are teachers, engineers..etc, but, as you know, under Saddam they were forced to leave their jobs, so they used to sell books over there as a means of livelihood..
I like this place and I kept visiting it since 1992 ( I was in the intermediate school, I remember when I was insisting on my friends to drop by Al-Mutanabbe street, but they were always refusing!! So I used to go alone !).
There are some buildings under maintenance and others under construction..
I came across foreigners who were purchasing some books, a women said to her friend: “ wow.. Wonderful, nice and cheap”.. they liked the place, if you see it you’ll like it too, it’s interesting.
The best point now is NOTHING PROHIBITED in Al-Mutanabbe St., you can find different types of books, regarding politics there are different books for different parties, authors and so many thoughts and opinions.
During the ex-regime the vendors were showing only books that must not interfere with ‘ Baath Party principles’ ! , at that time the Baathist books were sooooo cheap and always covered with dust and never been respected !!
many religious books weren’t allowed to be sold.. magazines and books that contained subjects criticizing the regime were surely forbidden.
Now you can find hundreds of these books.
We were hiking for a couple of hours, then I bought “ Figure Drawing” for Andrew Loomis, I love drawing so much especially using pencils and coal, I want to register in an institute to hone my skills, but of course after finishing the medical residence in Basra..
You may ask who’s Al-Mutanabbe? OK, he’s a great Iraqi poet (915-965 AD), his poetry is being studied in many stages in the schools and colleges of Art and Arabic Language departments.
If you want to see Al-Mutanabbe St, click here...

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