Important Breaking News: Facing Islamic State threat, Iraq digitizes national library

 

This Tuesday, July 28, 2015 photo shows restored books and documents at the Baghdad National Library in Iraq. As the Islamic State militants now set out to destroy Iraq's history and culture, including irreplaceable books and manuscripts kept in the militant-held city of Mosul, a major preservation and digitization project is underway in the capital to safeguard a millennia worth of history. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
This Tuesday, July 28, 2015 photo shows restored books and documents at the Baghdad National Library in Iraq. As the Islamic State militants now set out to destroy Iraq’s history and culture, including irreplaceable books and manuscripts kept in the militant-held city of Mosul, a major preservation and digitization project is underway in the capital to safeguard a millennia worth of history. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

I don’t usually cover news stories on this blog, but this report is too important to ignore. Associated Press writer Vivian Salama has just released a report in which she states:

“As Islamic State militants set out to destroy Iraq’s history and culture, including irreplaceable books and manuscripts kept in the militant-held city of Mosul, a major preservation and digitization project is underway in the capital to safeguard a millennium worth of history.”

 

In this Tuesday, July 28, 2015 photo, damaged books and documents await restoration at the Baghdad National Library in Iraq. Some manuscripts are torn from overuse and aging. Some others were completely fossilized over time, the combined result of moisture and scorching temperatures, looking instead like large rocks dug up from the earth. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
In this Tuesday, July 28, 2015 photo, damaged books and documents await restoration at the Baghdad National Library in Iraq. Some manuscripts are torn from overuse and aging. Some others were completely fossilized over time, the combined result of moisture and scorching temperatures, looking instead like large rocks dug up from the earth. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

 

Unfortunately, restoration experts were already swamped with work as they tried to “preserve what’s left after thousands of documents were lost or damaged at the height of the U.S.-led invasion.”

In this Tuesday, July 28, 2015 photo, a member of the library restoration staff works on a damaged document at the Baghdad National Library in Iraq. As the Islamic State militants now set out to destroy Iraq's history and culture, including irreplaceable books and manuscripts kept in the militant-held city of Mosul, a major preservation and digitization project is underway in the capital to safeguard a millennia worth of history. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
In this Tuesday, July 28, 2015 photo, a member of the library restoration staff works on a damaged document at the Baghdad National Library in Iraq. As the Islamic State militants now set out to destroy Iraq’s history and culture, including irreplaceable books and manuscripts kept in the militant-held city of Mosul, a major preservation and digitization project is underway in the capital to safeguard a millennia worth of history. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

 

Salvaging these books is critical work, and necessary to maintain cultural identity.

“Library officials say that sharing Iraqi art and literature is key to combatting terrorism. In recent months, the library donated some 2,500 books to libraries in Iraq’s Diyala province after Iraqi forces recaptured towns there from Islamic State militants.”

“The militants “want history to reflect their own views instead of the way it actually happened,” Abdulkareem said. “So when an area is liberated, we send them books to replenish whatever was stolen or destroyed, but also, so that Iraqis in this area have access to these materials so they can always feel proud of their rich history.”

Please share the information about this important work.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s