With his soft voice and scholarly manner, Saad Eskander doesn’t seem like a person fresh from the front lines of a war. But as director of the Iraq National Library and Archive in Baghdad, he has carried on his own four-year battle to preserve his country’s cultural heritage. While most of his peers fled the country, and five members of his staff were murdered, he has stayed on.
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„Every person has a cause to fight for,“ Eskander said in an interview during a visit to Boston this week. „This was my cause. If every one of us leaves the country, who will win? The forces of darkness, the extremists, the ignorant. It was important to stay and fight, and my sphere was culture.“