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Inside A Secret Library In Syria

A young girl named Islam reads a book to her mother.
A young girl named Islam reads a book to her mother.

In a small Syrian town called Darayya, residents found refuge from the country’s civil war in an unlikely place: a secret library. 

Amid 2016’s violence, a group scavenged dilapidated buildings, risking their lives to collect books to build underground library from scratch. 

Anas Ahmad, one of the founders of the library, told BBC reporter Mike Thomson: 

“In many cases we get books from bomb or shell-damaged homes. The majority of these places are near the front line, so collecting them is very dangerous.” 

The library represents a community clinging to hope and investing in the future even when it feels out of sight.  

We’ll speak to Thomson about his book, “Syria’s Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege,” and the state of the library today.

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Haili Blassingame