Rebuilding the Library IS Destroyed: How Publishers are Bringing Books Back to Mosul, Iraq

Rebuilding the Library IS Destroyed: How Publishers are Bringing Books Back to Mosul, Iraq

12 Mar 2019, 13:00 - 14:00

Olympia Room, Grand Hall

In 2015, IS fighters deliberately destroyed the University of Mosul’s library in what UNESCO called “one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history.”  Thousands of books on philosophy, law, science and poetry were lost.

Today, Dr Alaa Hamdon University of Mosul academic and founder of the Mosul Book Bridge Campaign, leads a team working tirelessly to rebuild the university’s lost collection. Over 3,700 books donated by UK publishers through Book Aid International are already in the library being used by students as they return to their studies.

In this exclusive London Book Fair event, Dr. Alaa Hamdon will speak about his experiences as an academic at the university which lost its library to IS and founding the Mosul Book Bridge campaign to rebuild the lost collection.

Following his talk, Robert Sulley (Group Development Director at Hodder Education) will chair a panel discussion including Dr. Hamdon, Alison Tweed (Book Aid International Chief Executive), Dr. Mehiyar Kathem (University College London) and Rachel Goode (Group Communications Director at Oxford University Press).

The discussion will focus on the pivotal role that books and publishers can play in giving everyone access to information, in creating vibrant, diverse academic communities and in ensuring that reconstruction in places like Mosul is about more than bricks and mortar.


  • Robert Sulley


    Group Development Director

    Hodder Education

    Robert has over 25 years of experience in international educational publishing. He was a Member of the International Board of the UK Publishers’...

  • Dr. Alaa Hamdon



    University of Mosul, Iraq

    Dr. Alaa Hamdon is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Mosul and member of the Nahrein Network - British Institute for the Study of Iraq...

  • Alison Tweed


    Chief Executive

    Book Aid International

    Alison Tweed leads the work of Book Aid International. Since joining Book Aid International in 2012 Alison has guided the charity in growing its book...

  • Dr Mehiyar Kathem


    Nahrein Network Coordinator

    Nahrein Network

    Dr Mehiyar Kathem is Nahrein Network Coordinator. The Nahrein Network fosters the sustainable development of antiquity, cultural heritage and the...

  • Rachel Goode


    Group Communications Director

    Oxford University Press

    Rachel has been the Group Communications Director at Oxford University Press (OUP) since April 2008. Before this she spent two years as the marketing...

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