hi! in Baghdad? be sure to see this:
In the heart of Baghdad lies Al-mutannabi Street, or the Friday street! where all people linking to reading and writing could be there at the same time then Bingo!! all the chattering and discussions burst to the surroundings to keep the sense of cultural and social brainstorming circling the street.
This dense Friday occupation of Al-mutannabi provided the location with a mighty educational power and also crystallized an ideal habitat for cultural events, freedom of expression and various cultural activities, it celebrates the issuance of new books and writers by holding presentations and attracting media.
Along Almutannabi street you'll find bookstores , libraries, book stocks and piles and many other stationary to provide the every day Iraqi life with its educational needs. there are always agreements and arrangements being made for a better cultural approach, its more like getting even with all of the wars remnants that lie deep inside ones heart.
then you reach the ancient Shabander Café, a place that is supposed to be for men, but not any more it isn't! never mind the pic! women are welcomed and served during their stay and its a lovely place to share the old times of seniors.
You can bomb a bookstore or ban a book,
but it will not die
You cannot kill a poem like you can a man.
Al-Mutanabbi Street will rise again.
(Sam Hamill, To Salah al-Hamdani, November 2008)
Refer to this link for more details concerning the bombing of Almutannabi street on the 5th of March 2007.
There were local and international responses to this act and the anthology on the right is only one of them.
A commemorative event was held in 2013 in many parts in Baghdad and other cities around the world.
Along Almutanabi street there are other places that are of cultural attraction like Almada House which neighbors Alshabandar Café. ascending the stairs that are edged with portraits of eminent artists, singers, poets, actors and writers you reach the main hall of the house that is designed to imitate a folkloric house with its reed chairs and tables, manikins with Iraqi traditional style , traditional accessories, the place is set to host cultural events with a screen on one side facing rows of chairs for audience.
It is scheduled that each Friday witnesses an event of some kind and it is not necessarily a poetry event but it never jumps too far! poetry is everywhere.
Almada house is also a publishing house that has a bookstore to sell titles from other printing houses as well but mainly it publishes it's own titles. many events are recorded and the opposite picture is only one of them. more details on our ( cultural events page)
Alqushla is also an attractive place in Almutanabi it is full of green spaces and some permanent activities are held there like galleries and painting lessons by eminent artists. the place is named after the Qushla clock which was erected at the time of the Ottomans in 1851, then after decades it witnessed the birth of the first government in Iraq's modern history at the time of king Faisal the 1st in 1921, then it was listed as cultural heritage in 1989.
nowadays Alqushla embraces many cultural events especially book presentations and poetry readings.
Baghdad Cultural House
one of the provincial properties in Baghdad consisting of two stories; each one of several halls that are designed for hosting events, cultural ones, and witnesses many sessions at the same time. the design is a traditional Baghdadi house that consists of an inner space surrounded by rooms and open to the sky.
the hosting is free for cultural activists and a schedule is held for their events.
the rooms are named after eminent Iraqi artists and personalities and on Fridays you can hardly find a space of your own inside the crowd...galleries are always held parallel to the water fountain where young artists have the chance to display their work along with media coverage.