#ArabAmerica: Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here

The Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, is seeking volunteer readers in a variety of foreign languages to contribute to "Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here," an evening of poetry readings and art on March 5. 

This local performance joins communities all around the world in honoring Baghdad's famous literary street, which was named for the Arab world's most famous poet, Al-Mutanabbi. Volunteers are being sought to read a short poem in languages other than English — no poetry composition required.  

"Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here" commemorates the 2007 bombing of Baghdad's historic street of booksellers. Al-Mutanabbi Street is a winding street about of 1,000 feet long, noted for its many bookstores and outdoor bookstalls where people gather as a great humanitarian center. 

It has been a thriving center of Baghdad's bookselling and publishing for centuries. The bombing took the lives of 30 people and destroyed a large portion of the neighborhood. The booksellers who survived rebuilt their stores and are once again in business. 

They sell works by Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, Jews, children's books and progressive publications from around the world. Every year since the creation of "Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here," poetry readings and exhibits have taken place around the world in early March. 

This is the second annual reading in Steamboat Springs. Interested volunteers who speak any foreign language should contact Janet Bradley at mail: janet.bradley@gmail.com or 970-457-7869.



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