The Good Librarians
This wonderful story came to my attention earlier this year. I found it very affecting. You might as well.
At the start of his country's civil war, Dr. Mustafa Jahic, the director of the Gazi Husrav Beg Library in Sarajevo, decided to do what he could to preserve that very large part of Muslim Bosnia's cultural patrimony which had been placed in his charge; so he and his staff, including the cleaning lady and the night watchman, carried thousands of books from hiding place to hiding place, across and around the city, braving sniper fire for years in order to save books. Just books. Again and again and again they carried a library of priceless books around a city at war with itself because they thought it was a good thing, the right thing, to do; and it was good, and they were right, and anyone and everyone who presumes to describe themself as being civilised should know Mustafa Jahic's name.
Ever the dutiful scholar and diligent administrator, even when having to find out the hard way that Jewish and Christian gravestones provided better cover against sniper fire than those of Muslim design, while he was organising those hellish strolls in the cause of saving his (and therefore our) culture Dr. Jahic decided that it would be a good idea for the Gazi Husrav Beg's collection to be microfilmed, in case the worst came to the worst and the books were lost: so he found a man named Mustafa Music, who had a microfilming machine, and they set about microfilming the lot. Given the circumstances under which he was working, Dr. Jahic's dedication to his duties was extraordinary.
Dr. Jahic has said of his efforts that '(b)
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