The Bomb on Mutanabbi Street

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‘And I think, as I walk along Mutanabbi Street. I wonder if the dead here will be recalled more fiercely because they died among books. I wonder if it will be remembered as worse to blow up bookshops than supermarkets, in the same way that it’s considered worse to bomb messily at street level than scientifically from ten thousand feet. And I hope not. I don’t want Mutanabbi Street to be the only thing that is remembered.

 ٗأفنش، ٗأّا أجراص شاسع اىَرْثٜ. أذسائو ى٘ اسرشجغ اىَ٘ذٚ ْٕا إىٚ اىذٞاج تَٖجٞح أمثش ألٌّٖ ٍاذ٘ا تِٞ اىنرة. أذسائو إُ ماُ اىراسٝخ سٞزمش أُ ذفجٞش شاسع ىيَنرثاخ ٝؼرثش جشَٝح أس٘أ ٍِ ذفجٞش شاسع ىيثقاىٞاخ، تْفس فٜ اىشاسع ً قزسا اىْسثح اىفاسقح اىرٜ ذؼرثش أُ ذفجٞشا أس٘أ تنثٞش ٍِ ذفجٞش ػيَٜ ٝثؼذ ػششج آالف قذً. ٗال ً أذَْٚ رىل. ال أسٝذ أُ ٝنُ٘ شاسع اىَرْثٜ اىشٜء اى٘دٞذ اىزٛ سٞزمشٓ اىراسٝخ.

 I try to read the fragments as they fall past my face, but there is no language on them I can understand.

أداٗه أُ أقشأ اىقصاصاخ اىرٜ ذرٖاٗٙ قشب ٗجٖٜ. ٗال أفٌٖ ىغاذٖا.

And at the same time I think. Maybe somewhere in all this destruction there’s a work of art. And I don’t know how I feel about that.

 ٗفٜ ّفس اى٘قد أفنش. ستَا ٝر٘اجذ فٜ ٍناُ ٍا ٍِ ٕزا اىذٍاس، ػَو فْٜ. ٗال أػشف ٍإٞح شؼ٘سٛ د٘ه رىل.’

– Excerpt from Chris Thorpe’s The Bomb on Mutanabbi Street,  Imperial War Museum: Manchester, 2016

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