Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

National library of Iraq travails in New York Times

In my Jan. 29 entry below, I mentioned the diary of Saad Eskander, Director of the Iraq National Library and Archive, describing the perilous violence he and his colleagues have had to endure while while trying to keep the library and archive open, posted at the website of the British Library. Today's New York Times discusses the diary and the extremely violent conditions suffered by Mr. Eskander and his staff, in an article by Patricia Cohen. She says: "In mid-January, he published a chart on the impact of sectarian violence on his staff for just the month of December. It included 4 assassinations of employees and 2 kidnappings, 66 murders of staff members’ relatives, 58 death threats and 51 displacements."

Mr. Eskander notes: "It is extremely difficult for my staff, including me, to work in a normal way. Many roads and bridges are often blocked. Hundreds of checkpoints are responsible for the daily heavy traffic. There is always the possibility of daily car-bomb attacks, assassinations, kidnapping and so on. Sometimes our drivers refuse to go to dangerous districts. All these ‘tiny things’ affect our works on daily basis."

However one may feel about the war, these library workers certainly deserve our support in their struggles to keep the national library open and functioning.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home