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The ‘Book Market of Baghdad’ - Al-Mutanabbi Street

Welcome to Al-Mutanabbi Street the ‘Book Market of Baghdad’, where books remain in the street at night because Iraqis say: “The reader does not steal and the thief does not read.”

We explore the rich heritage of the historic book market on Al-Mutanabbi Street…

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Al-Mutanabbi Street is the historic center of Baghdad bookselling, that dates back to the time of the Abbasids. Located near the old quarter of Baghdad, Al-Mutanabbi Street was Baghdad’s first book traders’ market.

Image credit Baghdadi.History on IG


Al-Mutanabbi Street has been, since time immemorial, the historic heart and soul of the Baghdad literary and intellectual community.

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Due to Al-Mutanabbi Street’s infinite supply of books, it served as a contemporary witness to the never-ending political and cultural changes that took place in Mesopotamia over the years.

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Al-Mutanabbi Street has been a refuge for writers of all faiths since at least the 8th century. Today, the rubble has been cleared, and the road is recovering.

Rising from the ashes of war, neglect and instability, Baghdad is going through a cultural renaissance. Al Mutanabbi Street, home to the city’s historic book market and the centre of intellectual life, lies at the heart of that revival.

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Al-Mutanabbi Street was first inaugurated in 1932 by King Faisal I and named after the celebrated 10th-century poet Abul Tayeb al-Mutanabbi, who was born under the Abbasid dynasty in what would become modern-day Iraq.

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Abu al-Tayyib, Ahmad ibn al-Hussein al-Mutanabbi (915-965 A.D) is one of the most acclaimed of the classical Arab poets, he is the author of the 10th-century Diwan, a collection of poems featuring skillfully crafted panegyrics or praiseful verses written for the poet’s patrons.

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Al-Mutanabbi is considered as one of the Greatest Arabic Poets. The art of Arabic poetry is one of the disciplines, which characterize the Arab people. It has a unique nature among the broad field of world poetry.