Makram Alkhaled left Mosul, Iraq in September 2013 to pursue a PhD scholarship in the University of Manchester in England. It was in the following year of June 2014 when ISIS fighters took over his home city Mosul. This led to tens of thousands of deaths, and the destruction and burning of homes and millions of books from libraries, which led to the fall of the great city.
The library of the University of Mosul was one of many that was destroyed, now just a broken shell of its former glory as a product of war. While Mosul has since been liberated from the wrath of the ISIS fighters back in 2017 by Iraqi security forces with the support of the international coalition, there is still much to be done to bring the war-torn city back to life.
Alkhaled was once an undergraduate student of the university in his youth, and in an attempt to help with rebuilding the library, he made it his mission to set up a crowdfunding campaign late last year to cover the shipping of books which will be donated by the University of Manchester to the University of Mosul.
“As a Mosulian and as one of the University of Mosul’s graduates, I feel that it is my duty to participate in the rebuilding process of the city and its libraries, especially as I am planning to return to my home city with my family once I finish my PhD,” Alkhaled wrote in the crowdfunding page Hubbub.
Alkhaled’s efforts weren’t wasted, too. Yesterday, he took to his Facebook page to share the goodnews. He wrote, “Dear friends, I am glad to inform you that with the [blessing] of the Almighty, the support of the good people, and the efforts of the enthusiastic friends, we managed to ship around 1300 books last Friday to Mosul.”
Alkhaled accompanied the post with pictures of him and his friends selecting books from the library shelves in the University of Manchester, and packing them up in boxes, which where then shipped off to the University of Mosul in Iraq.
“More than 500 of these books are in medicine and pharmacy disciplines. These books are a gift from the library of the University of Manchester to the library of the University of Mosul.”
“From the bottom of my heart, I say thank you to those who supported the project financially and/or morally,” Alkhaled said in gratitude. “Special thanks go to the friends tagged in this post for their extraordinary efforts in packing and loading these books.”
The fighters of ISIS may have burned down the library of the University of Mosul in flames, but in turn they also set fire to the spirit and hope of the people of Mosul, and the ideas within the books’ pages that can never be destroyed — only waiting to kindle the next readers whose hands shall come upon them. JB