Sunday, February 11, 2007

Baghdad Day to Day: Librarian’s Journal

The intermittent diary of Saad Eskander, director of Iraq's National Library and Archive in Baghdad is being published online by British Library. It provides a remarkable testament to the courage of ordinary people trying to do their job in the middle of occupation and civil war. Online publication of the diary started on Dec. 30, the day of Saddam Hussein’s execution, although Journal actually begins in mid-November, just before a three-week closure forced on the Baghdad Library by a series series of bombings, shootings and death threats. In December Eskander tabulated the impact of sectarian violence on the Baghdad Library's staff, including 4 assassinations, 2 kidnappings and 58 death threats. Sixty-six members of staff had suffered the murder of family members. The mistakes in English, occasional missing words and typos add a dramatic immediacy to the text:

The New York Times gives an overview:
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