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"AN IRAQI PROVERB has it that in Cairo they write books, in Beirut they print them, and in Baghdad they read them. Since the turn of the century, Mutanabi Street was the place to buy them—a center of knowledge in a secular Arab country where the vibrancy of intelectual life was legendry. Under Saddam Hussein, the stout of heart could find forbidden materials there.

"Mutanabi Street is still thriving, but with an important difference in character from the properous 1970's

March 22, 2004
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