University Of Mosul Library Project
ISIS Destroys, IBB Rebuilds
ISIS destroys the Central Library
ISIS destroyed the Central Library at the University of Mosul in 2014. UNESCO called this barbaric act “one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history.”
There is a reason why the library was among the first institutions destroyed by ISIS. A major center of learning, the Central Library was widely known and respected throughout the region as a place of knowledge, science, and pluralistic thinking. In destroying this institution, ISIS sent a powerful signal not only in Mosul, but throughout the Middle East.
The Destruction Continues
In a painful process drawn out over many months, more than one million books, rare manuscripts, and maps were ultimately destroyed. Even student textbooks were burned.
The exceptions were the chemistry books, which ISIS used to build explosives.
Ideas Beyond Borders Rebuilds
We give thousands of textbooks & digital books, hundreds of computer programs and dozens of computers.
In the years since the burning of the library, the school has struggled to rebuild. The university’s librarians have requested help replacing thousands of titles, and the students continue without textbooks. It was common to find an entire class using a single book, while progress in rebuilding the library has been slowed by bureaucracy and a lack of resources. In addition, many well-intentioned book donation programs have resulted in unneeded donations.
Ideas Beyond Borders decided to take a different approach. Rather than simply donate books we thought were essential, we instead asked for a list from the university’s central library and each of the institution’s twenty colleges.
More than 3,600 textbooks, 5,000 digital books, 400 computer programs, and 20 computer workstations were donated.
There is still much to accomplish in rebuilding the library, but by targeting student’s immediate needs, Ideas Beyond Borders and our community of supporters have taken a stand against the pointless nihilism of ISIS and for human advancement.