An established Iraqi bookseller and publishing house, al-Muthanna Library, has released its 2009”10 list of titles for sale abroad. Publishing Perspectives reports that new Iraqi books have not appeared on international markets for years.
Al-Muthanna ” like much of Iraq’s once-thriving bookselling industry ” suffered in the last decades, from the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, to the Gulf War, a decade of sanctions, an unexplained fire that burned down the [store] in 1999, and the chaos and violence in Iraq since 2003. As of last year, there was some uncertainty about how much of their distribution business they could eventually recover.
Now, al-Muthanna offers 609 new titles in Arabic (with some Kurdish and Syriac) for shipment from Baghdad to North America, Europe, and the U.K.