View Full Version : Female Booksellers turn the page on Gender Roles

Investors Iraq News
10-27-2017, 02:08 AM
By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor (http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/pmu-iraq-army-national-guard.html). Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.*
With its shelves filled with books by Russian and Italian authors alongside contemporary Iraqi writers, Books Town provides a welcome refuge in Baqubeh in Diyala governorate, which is known for sectarian violence and the Islamic State (IS).
The bookstore, which is a frequent stop for many intellectuals in Diyala governorate, is owned by Tayseen Ameer, a 31-year-old engineer.*A woman who runs a bookstore is a rarity in the area*but this has not stopped Ameer, who was dismayed*that only a few bookstores cater to customers sitting*down and reading.
I wanted to spare local readers the effort of traveling all the way to Baghdad to buy books, Ameer told Al-Monitor.
She said that she has faced many obstacles since she opened her bookshop in 2016 at the town’s commercial center, where most shops and large markets are owned*by men. Some of her family members opposed her opening the bookstore, while some people who walked in harassed her, saying she had no business doing a mans job.
Ruqaiyya Abd Ali (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biMcSYCWDgk),*a*lawyer who*spends her mornings selling books in the well-known*Mutanabbi Street (http://www.france24.com/ar/20120302-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%A8%D8%BA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%A8%D9%8A-%D9%85%D9%83%D8%AA%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AB%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%A9-%D9%85%D8%AC%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%B9-%D9%85%D8%AA%D9%86%D9%81%D8%B3-%D8%B9%D9%86%D9%81), was the first woman to open a bookstore in Iraq.*Since February 2015, Abd Ali has been selling books on the sidewalk, rather than in*a bookstore, and her visibility as a bookseller has*encouraged other women to follow*in her footsteps and sell*books on the street.
I was surprised with the public and media interest in my business (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEV6cB9LSWA)*in Mutanabbi Street. I did not even know that I was the first woman to work as a bookseller [in Iraq], Abd Ali told Al-Monitor, adding that she encourages more women to take up the profession.

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. (http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2017/10/27/female-booksellers-turn-the-page-on-gender-roles/)

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