Zaira Ahmed Zaka
Zaira Ahmed Zaka

You may have arrived here because you’ve found a bookmark with the words “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here”. Or because, like the journalist in this story, you were given one. Welcome to the informal community of writers and artists that is the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition. Wherever you are, in your home, in your reading group, in your local cultural centre, library or book-store, wherever literature and ideas are valued, Al-Mutanabbi Street starts there.

To find out what the bookmark project is about, have a look at the “About” page. To see other bookmarks, click on “Bookmarks” and browse the various artists’ creations. If you’d like to make and contribute some bookmarks yourself, the “Guidelines” page is the place to start.

Finally, here are some useful links to the other branches of this project: broadsides, artists’ books, printmakers, music, readings and exhibitions.


Artists’ Book Project (An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street – Click into a gallery and then onto any book image to see more views of the book and read the artist’s statement.

Al-Mutanabbi Street Broadsides – http://www.library.fau.edu/depts/spc/jaffecenter/collection/al-mutanabbi/index.php

In the spring of 2016 we had an 11 venue exhibit in the Washington D.C. area  – http://www.amsshdc2016.org/

2014 reading at the Arab British Centre in London – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBVmLKd9jIU

Review of our anthology in Jadaliyya, Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here  http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/12368/al-mutanabbi-street-starts-here

A musical piece that was composed for the project https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3x8juVd14g

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter – Martin Luther King Jr.

John Packer
John Packer

A reading at the Shabandar Cafe, Baghdad March 5th.

Amal al-Jubouri writes:

We had very emotional event where you and your colleagues were with us through your creative work and amazing initiative 

Here is the first live steaming early morning before the event:-


Here the rest:-







Tenth Anniversary Readings

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here
 A Tribute to Baghdad Booksellers
After the Iraqi capital’s venerable literary district was car-bombed in a terrorist attack in 2007, an ongoing project was launched drawing hundreds of print artists to pay individual tribute, in memory of the victims.
Join us to recreate the environments of Al-Mutanabbi Street, all the way from Baghdad to Michigan.
Featuring the writer and poet 
Dunya Mikhail
Book signing, Videos, Posters, Art Exhibition
  Friday, February 24, 2017, 7:00 PM
Ryan Palace, 4300 E 14 Mile Rd, Warren, MI

10th Anniversary Readings For Al-Mutanabbi Street, On Or About March 5th 2017

1. In San Francisco, California On March 4th – The Poet Tamsin Smith will Coordinate a Reading with Poets and Writers at her home.

2. In New Haven, Connecticut On March 4th – The Activist/Writer And Art Critic Stephen Kobasa will Coordinate a Reading at 12:30 at the Institute Library.

3. In Washington, D.C. On March 4th at 4pm – The Poet/Educator Casey Smith Will Coordinate A Reading at Petworth Citizen, 829 Upshur St. NW
4. In Bristol, U.K. On March 4th starting at 12:30pm – 1st floor, The Island gallery space, Nelson Street, Bristol, BS1 2LE, UK. – The Artist/Educator/Activist Sarah Bodman Will Coordinate A Reading

5. In Sydney, Australia -The artist/activist Catherine Cartwright and the artist/activist Rodrigo Azaola are organizing a reading – performance art event for al-Mutanabbi Street at Yaranabbe Park in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney Australia for 2pm on Sunday 5th March.

6. In Steamboat Springs, Colorado On March 5th – The Artist/Activist Janet Bradley Will Coordinate A Reading

7. In Saint Jerome, Quebec, Canada On March 1st – The Educator/Activist Elyse Dupras Will Coordinate A Reading At The College Where She Teaches. This reading will be in French, Arabic, and English

8. In London, U.K. On Thursday 2 March 2017 – A Literary Salon for Al-Mutanabbi Street, Time: 18:30 – 20:00 Location: The Arab British Centre1 Gough Square, London,

9. In Tucson, Arizona on March 5th – The Artist/Educator/Filmmaker/Curator Ozlem Ozgur Will Coordinate A Reading

10. In Berlin, Germany on March 5th – The Printer/Educator/Activist Andrew Morrison Will Coordinate A Reading With Students From The U.K.

11. In Newcastle, U.K. on March 5th – The Artist/Activist Theresa Easton Will Coordinate A Reading

12. In Dearborn, Michigan on March 5th – At The Arab American National Museum (In Their Library) Coordinated by the Poet/Activists Dunya Mikhail and Alise Alousi

13. In Baghdad, Iraq on March 5th – At the historic Shabandar Cafe on al-Mutanabbi street – Coordinated by the poet/activist Amal Al-Jubouri and her Soutuna project

14. In Dubai, U.A.E. at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature on the 5th of March – Coordinated by Hend Saeed the Arabic program organizer for the festival; ArabLit’s M. Lynx Qualey will give the introduction. This reading will be in Arabic and English.

15. In Washington D.C. to be broadcast on March 5th -Our good friends at EPIC will devote a podcast in their IRAQ MATTERS series that focuses on the 10th anniversary of the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street. Mark Seamen of EPIC will coordinate this reading of poets and writers.

16. In Vancouver, Canada on March 5th – A reading coordinated by the Journalist/Author Hadani Ditmars.

17. in Berkeley, California on March 8th. A reading at Moe’s Books coordinated by the writer/activist Summer Brenner and the poet/writer/activist Owen Hill.

18. In San Francisco, California on March 5th. A reading at The Great Overland Book Company from 3:30 – 5pm, coordinated by the poet/activist Beau Beausoleil and the educator/artist/activist Andrea Hassiba

19, In Palo Alto, California on March 5th. A reading (and possibly a project related workshop) at Cubberly Studios from 4-6 p.m. Coordinated by the artists/activists Nanette Wylde, Servane Briand and Paloma Lucas

20. In Milwaukie, Oregon on March 4th. A reading at the Pond House at 2:00 PM, sponsored by the Milwaukie Poetry Series of the Ledding Library, Coordinated by Baher Butti and Muwafaq Qatan

21. In Portland, Oregon on March 5th – A reading at the Central Library (downtown Portland) at 2:00 PM followed by an Iraqi commemorative celebration sponsored by the Iraqi Society of Oregon and the Iraqi Student Club at Portland State University. Coordinated by Baher Butti and Muwafaq Qatan

22 In Los Angeles, California, on March 5th Coordinated by The Markaz Arts Center for the Greater Middle East a reading with 10 poets and writers at Chevalier’s Books, 120 North Larchmont Blvd, The program is cosponsored by the Los Angeles Review of Books.

23. In Oakland, California, on March 23rd – A reading at the Octopus Literary Salon, at 2101 Webster Street (at 22nd St.) at 7pm. Coordinated by the writer/activist Joe Lamb

24. In Paris, France, on March 18th – A reading organized at Libre Ere Bookstore by the academic/activist Adina Rulu.

25. In Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 31st – A public performance of a musical piece, Words in the Wind (for al-Mutanabbi Street) composed by the musician/composer/academic/activist Melanie Monsour. The location will be at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, O’Shaughnessy Performance space in Benildus Hall.

26. In Fairfax, Virginia on February 7th – A reading for al-Mutanabbi Street at the Fenwick Gallery, part of the Fenwick Library at George Mason University. Coordinated by Nahid and Nasrin Navab as part of their gallery exhibit, Flying Words.

27. In San Francisco on March 6th- A reading for al-Mutanabbi Street at Bird & Beckett Bookstore, 7-9pm. Coordinated by Eric Whittington, bookstore owner and activist.

28. In Venice, Italy, on March 3rd – a reading at Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia, coordinated by Roberta Feoli Artist/Activist and Printshop and studio manager at Scuola.

29. In Brattleboro, Vermont, on March 3rd, a reading at Everyone’s Books, 25 Elliot Street, coordinated by the activist Kate Casa

30. In Essex Junction, Vermont, a reading on March 5th at 131 Towers Road, starting at 2pm, coordinated by the artist/activist Cecilia Bucca

31. In Buffalo, New York, a reading on March 15th at Talking Leaves Books, starting at 7pm – coordinated by the artist/activist Donna Stepien

32. In Warren, Michigan, a reading on Friday, February 24th, 7PM at Ryan Palace, 4300 E. 14 Mile Road (Warren Michigan) presented by The Mesopotamian Forum for Art and Culture. This reading will be entirely in Arabic

33. In Boston, Massachusetts, at Artheads Studio,, 29 Leicester St., Brighton Center, a reading for al-Mutanabbi Street on March 5th, 3 till 5pm as part of the “Art for a Change” art and activism project – This reading coordinated by the artist/educator/activist Ronni Komarow

34. In Boise, Idaho, at Boise State University Student Union, a collaboration between the University Art Curator and local arts and poetry organizations, will host a reading and digital exhibition in solidarity with al-Mutanabbi Street on March 6th, 7-9 PM.

35. In Amherst, Massachusetts, at Hampshire College, a reading on March 6th, starting at 4pm in the Hampshire library gallery, coordinated by Bonnie Vigeland and Jennifer King, both librarians at Hampshire College.

36. In London, a reading on Friday, March 24th, 5pm-7pm at SOAS, University of London presented by The SOAS University of London, Iraqi Society. This reading will involve the use of Arabic and English readings