Saad is struggling to keep the central library open and replace the rare books and documents that have been destroyed despite:
... bombings, blockades, shootings, threats, shortages and petty frustrations that make up everyday life.The diary is now available online via the British Library website, reports Patricia Cohen in the New York Times. Here's just a few of the things he has had to contend with:
As he wrote in his latest entry, he was having trouble repairing the Internet system; the Restoration Laboratory “was hit by 5 bullets”; and “another librarian, who works at the Periodical Department, received a death threat. He has to leave his house and look for another one, as soon as he can; otherwise, he will be murdered.”A single poignant story that represents the whole mess that is Iraq.
Update (10/6/08) :
I want to make the library a democratic model of how Iraq should be. From the start I hired Sunnis, Kurds, Shias, women, men. The national library must be a place - perhaps even the most important place - where Iraqis from many different groups come together." He claims to have paid special attention to women's rights.Saad Eskanderhas more to say about running his library in heart-breaking timees in this interview by Stuart Jeffries in The Guardian.