There are times when you realise that the worries and concerns that you have about your work are really very small fry. I’ve just read a message posted on the archives-nra list from Saad Eskander of the Iraqi National Library and Archives (INLA). He and his staff are constantly facing threats and intimidation simply by trying to do their jobs and protect the country’s cultural heritage. Yesterday he reported that a group of Iraqi national guards had broken into the National Library and Archive’s main building by force, claiming that they had orders from their superiors and the Americans to occupy the INLA. He says that this is not the first time that such an incident has happened. Having put so much time and effort into the reconstruction of the library and archives since the destruction caused during the fighting a few years ago, it looks like there is still no end to the dangers facing the materials, as well as the staff themselves. He asks for the support of archivists across the world and maintains that he will continue to fight and expose the wrong doings of the National Guard and the US authorities.
You can read the full message on the archives-nra list, it is entitled ‘Urgent moral support needed’.