Eager Iraqi readers struggle for access to books

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Iraqis are book lovers. So much so that there’s a saying in the Arab world: Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, Iraq reads. But lately it’s been hard for Iraqis to lay their hands on the books that they crave.

Reporting from Iraq for McClatchy Newspapers, Corinne Reilly writes that throughout Iraq, “Libraries and schools are understocked, and many bookstores are closed…. College-level texts, books on specialized subjects and recent editions are the hardest to come by. Most elementary and high school students use decades-old materials.”

“You could say we are starving for textbooks,” May Youssef Saour, a microbiology professor at Baghdad University’s al-Kindy College of Medicine, told Reilly.

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