Iraqi Book Festival Draws Thousands

Razzak told Al-Monitor the positive results achieved by the festivals push organizers to hold them in all Iraqi cities. He said that in addition to various Iraqi institutions, some states such as Turkey, Spain and Japan will support the festival through their embassies. During the meetings between the festival’s organizers and representatives of these countries, foreign embassies expressed their willingness to support and promote the festival.

Hussein told Al-Monitor that the charge d’affaires of the Japanese Embassy in Iraq suggested the establishment of a mobile bookshop that travels through Iraqi cities, and that the Japanese Embassy donate the vehicle in which the books will be transported.

Under dictatorship, Iraqis have suffered isolation from the world and intellectual repression, where the ideology of a single party was fed. Following the ouster of dictatorship, terrorism — led by the forces of darkness and backwardness — has attacked the Iraqi people. Yet, despite the painful reality, they continue to oppose all forms of oppression and terrorism.

The "I’m Iraqi, I read books" festival is an example of Iraqis committing to their right to life and freedom, and to their belief in the role of reading in the advancement of their community and the strength of books in the face of terrorism.

(Reading image via Shutterstock)

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