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Open air book street in Mosul replaces shops damaged in ISIS battles

By Associated Press 21/9/2018
Mosul's university street is the place to go for book worms.

The pavements are lined with vendors selling a huge variety of reading material.

Al Najafi Street used to be a hub for bookshops. But it was destroyed in the military operation to retake the city from the Islamic State group in June last year.

It has not yet been rebuilt - so those businesses have relocated here, to the place known as the cultural compound area.

"It was established to compensate for the destruction that occurred to the bookstores at Al Najafi Street, as well as to fill in the cultural loss that happened in the city of Mosul," says Alaa Ghanim, the book street organiser.

Book sales take place each Friday.

Holding it at the weekend means as many people as possible have a chance to come and browse through the hundreds of different books available.

"The book street is a cultural street to exchange knowledge, information, and opinions. It emerged after the catastrophe that occurred in the city of Mosul three years ago," says book shopper Safaldin Suhaib.

"Knowledge, science, development, and looking forward to the future are the best weapons against radicalism and terrorism."

Mosul book sellers are proving they don't need a shopfront to keep the city's readers happy.


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