Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Car Bomb in Book Market

Before and after in the bookmarket in Al-Mutanabi Street the literary and cultural heart of Baghdad. The car bomb that ripped through the area left at least 26 dead and wounded 65.
The terrorists are trying to kill knowledge. Today they have killed the books in our oldest market ...
said bookstore owner Naim al-Shatry.

(Pics scanned in from Malay Mail article)

11 comments:

Juria said...

And what on earth are they trying to prove now? Idiots.

Glenda Larke said...

Some people fear knowledge. They know it sets people free. They know it enables us to make up our own minds, instead of swallowing their hate and bigotry unquestioned.

A few brainless librarians in the USA ban kids' books that contain the word "scrotum"; Nazis burned books; Communists banned just about anything that looked interesting; right-wing Christian nuts stop their kids from reading about wizards; the Malaysian government censors ban anything that looks iffy to their literary-challenged minds. In Bagdad they blow up books. The only difference is the matter of degree. Loss of freedom to think for oneself on the one hand, loss of life as well as the books on the other. It is all tragic. It is all a step backwards.

Kenny Mah said...

It is all tragic. It is all a step backwards.

But we go on. We step forward. We find more words to write more books. We perform our poems, we sing our songs. Our voices will be heard, louder than the noise of any bombs.

Jeffrey Hardy Quah said...

What does it say about me that my first thought was "Oh man, all those books", and not "Oh man, all those people"?

Kenny Mah said...

Jeffrey,
Maybe it says that we're all too numbed, too desensitized --- violence and death are our daily read these days; nothing surprises anymore.

That's why I avoid the papers, at least the news. Too much noise.

bibliobibuli said...

kenny - agree. compassion gets stretched.

but in this case, because i had written about the street before, because the people there were doing what i love most, buying books, hanging out talking books, i felt a connection.

animah said...

Kenny, I feel exactly the same. Yet what does that say about us, that we don't care enough? It disturbs me that I should lack compassion, yet I think it's because to feel for each and every horrendous incident is too overwhelming.
At some very deep level (I'm going to sound Jungian here), we are all connected, and despite our attempts at shutting it out, the horror lived by people on the other side of the world affects us too. In other words, we cannot turn the other way.
I have no answers. At least not yet.
Must dash for 8.30 meeting. (Have 5 meetings this morning. Yay.)

thepurplecat said...

Another senseless killing of innocents. When is it going to stop?

bibliobibuli said...

i got into a discussion on another blog, animah, after someone accused local bloggers of only thinking about their internet connection after the taiwanese earthquake, and not the dead. how much compassion can we actually feel for the people we hear about on the news? we think we ought to feel it, but it's hard enough to really feel it even for the people much closer to us. and how do we weigh out and apportion compassion? two seconds of it for everyone we read or hear about? we wouldn't be able to manange even that! so we say "how terrible" and move on with our lives thinking "that goodness that wasn't me". and then we feel this residual guilt.

it's really only in moments like this, when we can imagine ourselves in someone else's shoes that we can feel it ... and these guys were just browsing books, talking literature, trying to find some sanity and normalcy in the chaos

Greenbottle said...

i blame the US, get the fuck out of Iraq..they started it all...

the rest is as they say 'details'....

Irman said...

Isn't Mutannabi the guy who 'inspired' Dante?