Terror Has Not with Drawn: Daily Life for Librarians in Iraq
Kniffel, Leonard, American Libraries
The American military formally ended its mission in Iraq on December 15, 2011. It was the inauspicious end of an invasion launched by the United States ostensibly to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, which were subsequently determined to be nonexistent. The war cost the lives of 4,287 service members, with another 30,182 wounded or maimed in action. Tens of thousands of Iraqis died in the conflict, although there are no firm civilian numbers available. US involvement has ended, but the war is far from over.
Located across the road from the main headquarters of the Iraqi army, the Iraq National Library and Archives and its 490 employees have been particularly vulnerable to insurgent attacks, which have increased steadily in 2012. June was the deadliest month, with some 200 people, mostly civilian pilgrims, reported killed, according to the September 14 New York Times.
"The continuous terrorist attacks often result in snarled traffic and even blocking the main road that leads to the National Library," said Eskander. "These attacks also affect the lives of some of my staff ... their sons, brothers, or sisters have been injured. The army headquarters was attacked twice viciously by terrorists in 2011. We were trapped, unable to evacuate our building for more than four hours." According to Eskander, other institutions near the library were also attacked this year, such as the Shiite religious foundation's headquarters, where 25 people were killed June 4.
As a result of these nearby attacks, the library has sut-fered some material damage--ceilings, windows, and doors were smashed. "Luckily, no one on my staff was harmed," said Eskander. …
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Publication information: Article title: Terror Has Not with Drawn: Daily Life for Librarians in Iraq. Contributors: Kniffel, Leonard - Author. Magazine title: American Libraries. Volume: 43. Issue: 11-12 Publication date: November-December 2012. Page number: 42+. © 1984 American Library Association. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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