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Saad Eskander on Iraq's Future46:07
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Saad Eskander (Photo: Flickr/americanlibraries)
Saad Eskander (Photo: Flickr/americanlibraries)

Now, that forgotten country, incredibly, is Iraq.

120,000 U.S. troops are still in Iraq. Combat troops are supposed to be out by next August. But Iraq’s fate and future is still unclear.

Saad Eskander was there in the chaos after the U.S. invasion, as director-general of Iraq’s National Library and Archives. He’s stayed through car bombs, mortar fire, plunder, kidnapping, assassinations and — maybe — rebirth.

This hour, On Point: Iraq now, with Saad Eskander.

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Joining us first from Baghdad is Rod Nordland, foreign correspondent for The New York Times.

Saad Eskander joins us in our studio. He is director-general of the Iraq National Library and Archives. A former fighter in the Kurdish resistance movement, he was born in Baghdad and educated in London, where he received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He returned to Iraq in 2003 to take leadership of the devastated National Library.

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Saad Eskander speaks today at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School, which has posted this biographical note about him.

In 2006 and 2007, Eskander wrote an online diary for the British National Library on his experiences rebuilding the Library in the midst of Baghdad’s brutal sectarian violence.

The Guardian profiled him earlier this year in a piece titled "Books, tears, and blood."

This program aired on October 22, 2009.

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