Al-Mutanabi Street is the historic center of the book universe in Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad. It is a street lined with booksellers and has served as the intellectual and literary hub of the city since the 8th century.
Now it has its first women bookseller, 22-year old Ruqaya Fawziya. She says:
In the beginning not only my family, anyone I would speak to about my idea to sell books at Al-Mutanabi Street, would oppose the idea, describing it as strange, and advising me not to do it, but later, when they saw me entering this world, they started encouraging me
I didn’t face any harassment from the people who visit Al-Mutanabi Street, but sometimes people look at me with a surprise look on their faces because they are not familiar with the sight of a woman selling books on the street. But there are many people who, on the contrary, encourage me
Read more of the online Book Patrol article, Al-Mutanabi street, Baghdad’s book row, gets its first female bookseller.