‘Al-Mutanabbi Street’ 2017: As Long As We Need To Remember

Arabic Literature (in English)

Next March marks the tenth anniversary of the bombing of Baghdad’s al-Mutanabbi Street, the city’s historic bookselling corridor. The “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” movement has started to organize readings on or about March 5, 2017:

mutanabbi1_274x228When Beau Beausoleil, a Bay Area bookseller and poet, heard about the 2007 bombing that killed at least 30 and wounded many more, including many book-street regulars, he felt the connection immediately and viscerally.

Soon after, the “Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” movement was born: a movement of poets, booksellers, book artists, translators, academics, and readers. It has spawned a collection of poetry and prose of the same name, as well as traveling exhibitions of letterpress broadsides, prints, and other works.

Beausoleil says there is nothing special planned for the tenth anniversary, but rather the sorts of readings that have happened every year since the 2007 attack on Baghdad’s readers and booksellers. “They need not be…

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