|Trashed Text: Islamic Religious Education |
I spent many a day in the 1970s lingering over the bookstalls along the fence of Ezbekiyya Gardens in Cairo. Those bookstalls have been uprooted and relocated and then returned to Ezbekiyya during the building of various flyovers, bypasses, and in the 1990s the underground tunnels for the Metro. But they have survived. Now, Ezbekiyya's analog in Alexandria, the bookstalls of Nabi Daniel Street, whve been attacked. The images or books thrown about in the street, however, has outraged book lovers throughout Egypt and brought protests from the country's literary community. See some of the Twitter and literary comment at Global Voices Online and at Arabic Literature (in English). The comments at Nervana are also definitely worth reading, whether or not Islamists turn out to have had any role. And it's worth revisiting the sadly prophetic piece I linked to recently by Khaled Fahmy on "The Tragedy of Books in Egypt."
"Used book markets around the world": Paris, Boston, Bandung, Tokyo. The center photo is labeled "Alexandria, Egypt."