Tehran University Library Burnt

Evelyn writes "The reference hall of the Tehran University Law Library caught fire in the early hours of Wednesday morning; 25,000 books estimated destroyed. Cause of fire not yet determined.

News source and pictures: www.chn.ir According to firemen, 80-90 percent of the hall has been destroyed due to the fire and the books of this sector are completely burnt. The books were an invaluable resource in the field of law and other related branches."


It is too bad that the library was destroyed. For reasons about which I am not quite clear I have a lot of Iranian friends. I know of a lot of Iranian doctors and nurses and I go to an Iranian (although no one would know if they didn't have Iranian friends) restaurant in my town.

I did a project in library school that required that I contact several Iranian librarians and each librarian I contacted responded (see my email at http://oneil.cx/Iran.pdfoneil.cx> in Farsi). They value librarianship in Iran and see them as professionals rather than paper pushers. Most Iranian librarians are academic librarians as most libraries are academic - they are also open to the public but their target is of course the students.

I'd like to see if we could help in some way, but of course there are many hoops to jump through. I'll have to contact Treasury as Iran is on the OFAC prohibitions list, but I am certain we can get some books through. I'll also contact the Iranian Intrests Section (as they have no Embassy in the US) and see what hoops they want us to jump through.
We can send some books to replenish their collection. I'll ask what they need, but we can always send what we find (and find appropriate) not many Iranian law books for sale in the US but a lot of international law books are.

Yes, I know that lots of Iranians would be just as happy to see my head on a pike, but I believe from the Iranians I know personally that it is a lot less than one may assume it to be. The Iranians I know want to be a mainstream country not a land of religious zealots. Just like the US wants to not be a land of Bible thumping whackjobs.

If anything exciting happens I'll post it in my journal. Its not going to change the world but it may make a half dozen fewer people hate the Great Satan of the US. I'm off to brush up on my Farsi.