It is our shared responsibility to restore the rich history of Mosul and to encourage the youth to deepen the understanding of their culture through the power of literature.Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development
A few months ago, I asked Sultan Al Qassemi to connect me with Juma Al Majid Center for Culture & Heritage to ask them to support the Central Library of the University of Mosul with books. He did and put us in contact. I approached them; they offered a generous list of books.
After a few days, we had to select the books we need from that list. The list was sent to Mosul; the library staff selected 271 books.
Now I have to ship the books to Mosul! How? I can’t; it was so expensive!
I thought of contacting Nancy Jamal, Official @Coalition Representative to ask her for support, as she was always of great support to Mosul and its people. She offered to ask around, but it took a little bit of time. I didn’t want to push, and Juma al-Majid centre was asking me how I am gonna pick the books!
After a little while of hesitation, I decided to contact H.E Noura Al Kaabi U.A.E. Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.
“We have some books that need to be shipped from Dubai to Mosul, can you help us”? I said.
“With my pleasure” she quickly replied.
To be honest, I was a little bit surprised. I know there is this kind of protocols of communications with ministers and officials that I didn’t want to break them. But her! She responded as a friend. She said we are friends. This made me very happy.
I received an email from her assistant telling me that they will happily want to ship the books to Mosul within the initiative Year of Tolerance 2019.
I directly connected them with Juma al-Majid centre, the communicated and coordinated.
They asked for a letter to the Iraqi commission of customs to exempt the books from taxes. I got a letter from the Central Library and sent it back.
The books were packed, shipped and arrived within only one week!
To open the doors of Mosul to people from everywhere. Now we will always remember that H.E Noura AlKaabi helped us to resupply our library. The idea behind our books campaign is to create memories, to replace it with that of ISIS’s
That’s was my goal when I launched the campaign to revive the libraries of Mosul. Books aren’t my target, but the human connection, to reconnect Mosul with its international context again.
Our Books campaign is focusing on this kind of collaboration. The simple and fast mobilization of human efforts to avoid the bureaucracy and to focus more on the idea, not the objects.
In the end, Dear Sultan Al Qassemi, Noura AlKaabi and Juma al-Majid Center:
I can’t thank you enough, but you helped me prove that the idea of the simple and effective human mobilisation is possible.
Omar of Mosul