Amore e pianto, vivono accanto

Memories of Mosul’s Libraries


Novelist Mahmoud Saeed and poet Faiza Sultan remember Mosul’s libraries in the 1950s and 1990s:

Mahmoud Saeed

Novelist Mahmoud Saeed was born in Mosul in 1939, and depicts Mosul of the 1940s and 50s in his autobiographical novel, The World Through the Eyes of Angels, trans. Samuel Salter, Zahra Jishi, and Rafah Abuinnab. Here, he writes for us about his memories of the Central Library in Mosul:

msaeedThe public library in Mosul is what has made me a writer. It was located in the most beautiful place at that time, in the forties and fifties, on the right bank of the Tigris, near the King Ghazi iron bridge. The building overlooked the river.

Temperatures in Mosul got up to 55-56°C in July, and there weren’t then air coolers or conditioners, so the Iraqis used traditional methods to limit the heat. They put thistle between two sheets of wood clamped together, put…

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