Where the books weren’t burned: Baghdad’s ancient libraryBreaking News
tags: Baghdad, ancient library
Librarian Abdulsalem Abdulkareem moves softly between the bookshelves of the al-Qadiriyya library, sliding silky fabric covers from glass exhibition cases to proudly reveal some of the collection’s most beautiful historic tomes.
Many of these are richly decorated copies of the Quran, such as a two-volume hand-written edition, the pages of which are almost a metre long, gifted to the library from the Taj Mahal by an Indian prince several hundred years ago.
“Here we have something very special and the only one of its kind,” says Abdulkareem, revealing another Quran, its intricately patterned borders entwined with colourful flowers, and richly embellished with gold leaf. Several hundred years old, the book was a gift from the mother of a Turkish Sultan named Abdul Aziz.
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