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This is the text I used in the book ‘A sun that rises’

These are the words by Abdul Satar (Abu Ali), taken from the documentary:

A Candle for the Shabandar Cafe

Emad Ali, Director, Baghdad Film School, 2007

“The explosion in Mutanabbi Street didn’t just target people…but also language and thought itself — Iraqi culture, really. This street, which the suicide bomber blew up, this unknown man, but we all know what sort of a person he was, his identity, his culture, history, background, his origins….this bomber knew exactly what this street means to the Iraqi people, and, how important it is to Iraqi culture. Neither development nor civilization is posssible in Iraq if we don’t preserve this street and its shopkeepers, booksellers, its porters and poor people….

If we don’t care for all of them, I don’t think there is a future for Iraq. Because without culture, there is no development and no civilization. This place is the stream which feeds Iraqi culture. And, we belong to it — body and soul…..

Here I learned the meaning of legends, of language, of God…a God of good and justice—not the God of the extremists. They are against everything which is life. This is not just a place to buy books, it is redolent of history. The body of Hallaj, the Sufi, was buried only steps from here. Thousands of Iraqis were killed in this street. It reminds us of the Ottoman state and of its cruelty. Here, we remember the Tigris River flooding and the diseases which decimated Baghdad. But life goes on. It’s an illusion to think that people can be completely defeated. The earth keeps turning, life continues…..there is still a sun that rises, and there is hope, despite all the destruction.”

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