World Book and Copyright Day
Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq, #Sakran
Since 2013, I have been working on a book and exhibition project on the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. I wanted to highlight its culture, its country and its people that, in the midst of troubled times, seek to bring peace to the Middle East.
Here, in this house of the village of Sakran in Iraqi Kurdistan, a discreet veil preserves the books of time. Completely destroyed in 1977 by order of Saddam Hussein, Sakran lives again since its reconstruction in 1991.
At the beginning of my teenage years I was a serious student and I had just left the town where I was born; Tabriz to go live with my relatives in Tehran.
There was a reason that drove me towards becoming inventive. I had to quench my insatiable thirst for reading, which my father’s modest salary was unable to afford. I had discovered an abandoned room on the mezzanine floor of the college, and I had the idea that it could recapture its heart and soul in the form of a library. I shared my plan with my father, who encouraged me, saying his only wish was that I should take complete responsibility for it myself.
After launching an appeal for gifts of books and magazines to all the parents of the educational institutions in the area, after devoting my holidays to labelling and classifying the 630 books we had collected, and after cleaning the room and putting up shelves, the great day arrived—the inauguration in front of an audience of parents, teachers and principals, along with some students.
The following summer, and every afternoon when classes were over, the library became my home port, being me in charge of loans. I would sail away reality every time I read something. It was my sanctuary.
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