Mutanabbi Street

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Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad, 2009

Mutanabbi Street (Arabic: شارع المتنبي) is located in Baghdad, Iraq, near the old quarter of Baghdad; at Al Rasheed Street.[1] It is the historic center of Baghdad bookselling, a street filled with bookstores and outdoor book stalls. It was named after the 10th-century classical Iraqi poet Al‑Mutanabbi. This street is well established for bookselling and has often been referred to as the heart and soul of the Baghdad literacy and intellectual community.

A car bomb or suicide bomb exploded and killed 26 people on Mutanabbi Street on March 5, 2007, leaving the area littered and unsafe for shoppers, and destroying many businesses.[2][3] In response to the bombing, Deema Shehabi and Beau Beausoleil edited an anthology in 2012 called Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here of people's responses to the bombing. The 100 contributors included Yassin Alsalman and Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Anthony Shadid, among others.[4]

On December 18, 2008, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki officially reopened the street after a long period of cleanup and repair.[2]



  1. ^ The death of Al Mutanabbi Street
  2. ^ a b Owles, Eric (December 18, 2008). "Then and Now: A New Chapter for Baghdad Book Market". The New York Times. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
  3. ^ WONG, EDWARD; HABEEB, WISSAM A. (5 March 2007). "Suicide Bombing Kills 20 in Baghdad Book Market (Published 2007)". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  4. ^ Bramley, Ellie Violet (21 January 2014). "Literary project honours Baghdad's devastated bookselling district". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 18 April 2015.

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Coordinates: 33°20′27″N 44°23′20″E / 33.340954°N 44.388843°E / 33.340954; 44.388843