Culture

Iraqi author and poet opens library in Suleimaniyah for children

Iraq

An author and poet in the Kurdistan region of Iraq has opened a library in the city of Suleimaniyah for both the young and old.

The Iraqi poet and author, Amin Saban, has opened up a library in the city of Sulaimaniyah for the benefit of children and young people. The Saban library, which was originally set up in 1996, but didn’t open to the public until 2012, contains 40,000 books on topics such as literature, poetry and philosophy.

“When I opened this library there were 40,000 books, a large portion of them were authored by me,” said Saban. “I have written 27 books, most of them deal with children’s literature, education, poetry and folklore.”

Following his retirement, Saban has devoted his time to opening up his library to people of all ages. However, Saban spends much of his time hosting school-age children, many of whom come to the library on school trips.

After giving the children a tour of the library and teaching them the rules pertaining to borrowing books and visiting the library, Saban sits with the children and personally reads them stories, many of which he has written himself. In addition, Saban has opened a small shop within the library, which sells books and stickers to the children at a discounted price.

Amin Saban and the Saban Library are providing an important educational service to the children of Suleimaniyah and the wider Kurdistan Region of Iraq. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an estimated 3.5 million school-aged children in Iraq have missed out on all or part of their school education.

Although Suleimaniyah escaped the destructive occupation of ISIS, it has not escaped the economic downturn that the country has endured following the occupation and the subsequent battle to eliminate the militants by the Iraqi Security Forces. Accordingly, providing a diverse learning environment not only offers the children a good educational opportunity, but it also creates the next generation of Iraqis that can continue the long rehabilitation of their country post-ISIS.