Iraq National Library and Archive closedBreaking News
I have just received the grave and deeply dispiriting news from Dr. Saad Eskander that he has closed the Iraq National Library and Archive for the time being as of last Tuesday. On 15 November, he informed me that his institution had been bombed thrice in three weeks, and subjected to sniper fire, including directly into his own office. Another young librarian was recently murdered, and the building had been shelled several times in the few days previous to the closing (by which I assume he meant mortar fire).
Dr. Eskander has been a model of progressive action, has increased his staff substantially, and has striven very hard to gain them training on several fronts, and otherwise restore functioning to an institution that was twice set on fire during the initial period of American occupation. Prompted by a question from me concerning how he was managing to keep such a large staff coming to work under such perilous circumstances, he informed me last spring that he was dedicating 30% of his budget to bussing them all back and forth each day, although three of his drivers had been murdered in the process. However necessary, this was financially untenable as a long-term accommodation to the exigencies of the times. As we all know, the situation has only grown worse since then, and the repeated direct attacks on his institution made it a place he could no longer ask his staff to serve. The forces of intolerance are thriving, and those institutions and persons representing a progressive and hopeful future for Iraq are under assault and in retreat.
comments powered by Disqus
- Yale students protest decision to keep Calhoun’s name
- Six maps that will make you rethink the world
- Middle Tenn. State President Wants to Strip Confederate General’s Name From Building
- Trump will get more GOP primary votes than anyone in history (because more people are voting)
- Labour Party suspends former Mayor of London for implying Hitler supported Zionism
- Historians are now trying to show that the gay revolution also took place in the midwest
- The Unconference Movement Grows – And Historians Are Taking the Lead
- New appeal to "Bring Back Military History"
- Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger discusses his controversial career
- Annette Gordon-Reed subjects herself to Reddit, the “anything-goes” social media website