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Ru­naki Li­brary... Home of Er­bil’s writ­ers

The Kurdish Globe - - LAST PAGE -

One of the fa­mous in­tel­lec­tu­als and academics of Kur­dis­tan, who will al­ways re­main in mem­o­ries, is 'Dr. Marif Khaz­nadar'. He was born in Er­bil, stud­ied in Kirkuk and grew up in Bag­dad. He ac­com­plished his study in Moscow, served in Bag­dad and Al­ge­ria, worked for tens of years in Er­bil and es­tab­lished the great­est li­brary. This great man passed away in Er­bil and buried in ' Chi­rakh' grave­yard in Er­bil city. Not just Khaz­nadar's kitchen in his house was full of books, but in ev­ery room, wall, floor and even ceil­ings of his house there were books in Kur­dish, Ara­bic, Rus­sian, English and other lan­guages.

Marif Khaz­nadar's house was full of books, love of writ­ing, re­search and re­spect­ing writ­ers were the high­est thing in­side his home. Ev­ery­one in­ter­ested in talk­ing and think­ing of cul­ture and ed­u­ca­tion, could visit that home, he could ask any ques­tions in fields of pol­i­tics, so­cial and cul­ture, and Dr. Marif as a great and an ex­pe­ri­enced teacher would an­swer them. Dr. Marif was al­ways busy with aca­demic study and re­searches on his­tory of Kur­dish Lit­er­a­ture; he printed 7 vol­ume of it, be­fore his death, he wrote his mem­o­ries in the seven vol­umes. He has pub­lished hun­dreds of re­searches in Kur­dish and Ara­bic.

In his li­brary, which was called 'Ru­naki' (light), the light was shin­ing prac­ti­cally in­side hearts of fi­nan­cial and spir­i­tual sup­port. There is no doubt that in the de­vel­oped coun­tries, hold­ing and col­lect­ing books may not be dif­fi­cult. But for Kurds, it was a hard and dif­fi­cult duty, be­cause at some pe­riod of time, the Baath Regime has hanged peo­ple be­cause of one book, and it has de­stroyed tens of books due to its cen­sor­ship. This case was much harder for po­lit­i­cal or his­tor­i­cal books. That's why peo­ple like Dr. Marif Khaz­nadar and oth­ers who thought about es­tab­lish­ing li­braries in­side their home,

aimed to in­tel­lec­tu­als and youths who were thirsty of learn­ing. In the li­brary that has been es­tab­lished in Ru­naki Quar­ter in Er­bil in­side his house, books, news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, doc­u­ments, pho­tos and rare recorded voices are pre­served and can be seen. In fact this per­sonal li­brary is like a great na­tional mu­seum. It in­cludes about 15 thou­sand books and sources, a large num­ber of manuscripts, more than 60 books which he printed, in ad­di­tion to his pub­lished re­searches in Kur­dish and Ara­bic news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines.

In the eight­ies, while writ­ers and in­tel­lec­tu­als couldn't find a safe place far from Baath Regime's po­lice, ev­ery Wed­nes­day they were hold­ing cul­tural sem­i­nars in Khaz­nadar's home, dis­cussing is- sues and ob­sta­cles of Kur­dish cul­ture. Tens of peo­ple learned and de­vel­oped in this li­brary. There are many writ­ers and in­tel­lec­tu­als who ben­e­fited from Khaz­nadar's pro­tect Kur­dish sources and the ones that were about Kurds writ­ten in for­eign lan­guages. Ev­ery sin­gle page found about Kurds, he has saved them in his li­brary.

His hobby of col­lect­ing books stated in 1948, he's been in Soviet in 1960-1968, af­ter he re­turns to Bag­dad, he lec­tures in Bag­dad Univer­sity, Depart­ment of Kur­dish Lan­guage which raises his ea­ger­ness to the idea of es­tab­lish­ing the li­brary. At that time, he prac­ti­cally started col­lect­ing books writ­ten about Kurds; es­pe­cially the time he was study­ing in Len­ingrad he was post­ing books to Kur­dis­tan. When he re­turned in 1968, he brought a mas­sive num­ber of books with him. Af­ter his re­tire­ment, he even­tu­ally re­turns to Er­bil in 1982 and started to or­ga­nize his per­sonal li­brary in a good man­ner and made it ' Ru­naki Center'.

Dr. Marif passed away; his pub­li­ca­tions and prod­ucts are part of his­tory of cul­ture. Tens of im­por­tant sources about Kurds are kept safe in his li­brary, but un­for­tu­nately af­ter Khaz­nadar's death, the Ru­naki center ended, the can­dle of cul­ture in his li­brary ex­tin­guished. He treated his stu­dents as a fa­ther and a teacher. He as a great and an ex­pe­ri­enced man was deal­ing with things as some­one greater than any­thing else.

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