Ali Al-Moussawi’s passion for books goes beyond reading. He has developed the first city library on wheels in Baghdad. His main goal is to revive a love for books and to encourage the culture of reading in the city.
Baghdad, once the literary and cultural capital of the Muslim world, is now better known for bombs than poems: “With the library, I just want to face the killing by reading and selling books. Culture is all what we have”. People in cities, that have been ravaged by wars or terrorism, use their creativity in a more inclusive way. Their ideas want better cities in a way that aims the wellbeing of everybody.
“We are not just a normal bookstore, we are different. We established the first reading and writing club in Iraq. It all started as an online bookstore on social media called Iraqi bookish. You can buy the book and we deliver it to your home. It is that simple. The page started to grow and it became popular”, says Ali Al-Mosawy. Further on Ali wanted all Iraqis to know how accessible culture and reading in the city could be and therefore he created the first library on wheels. “Now, all the people know Iraqi bookish”.
“I adore reading,” said Ali al-Moussawi. “I have long wanted to meet people like me, so I was thinking of creating something where all readers could gather at any time, regardless of where they are.”
If somebody goes to the bookstore or library on wheels and wants to read for free instead of buying, it is entirely up to the people. He even offers a free reading area at the bookstore located in the Oasis mall near Baghdad University College so that it is easy for the students to hang out.
“Do you have used books but you don’t need them? You can donate them in Iraq bookish bookstore and help others to learn and read”. Ali’s creative solution is to bring the culture of reading everywhere. “We designed the library on wheels so that it expand the reach of traditional libraries by transporting books to potential readers, providing library services to people in otherwise-underserved locations (such as remote areas)”.
His last effort is the creation of a reading and writing club for kids that has been successfully embraced by many people so far. “We haven’t forgotten the kids. We have also started a reading club for kids so that we encourage a culture of reading. The idea is to build a better community, as it says “early start grow smart””.