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Exhibit honoring writers and readers opens at Dearborn museum

Mar 7, 2015

This article was updated at 4:18 pm on 3/7/2015

An exhibit opening this weekend at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn touches on themes of freedom of expression. 

Detroit to Baghdad: Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here commemorates the 2007 bombing of the center of Baghdad’s bookseller district. Dozens of people died. It took nearly a year for shops to reopen. 

The street is named for Abu at-Tayyib Ahmad ibn al-Husayn al-Mutanabbi al-Kindi, considered to be one of the greatest poets in the Arabic language. 

This broadsheet entitled "I Challenge Anyone" is part of the exhibition on display at the Arab American National Museum
Credit Florida Atlantic university Libraries

Writer Alise Alousi is coordinating the exhibit. She says it includes works of dozens of writers, poets and others.

“There are all different kinds of connections that people can make and that’s what I think is compelling about this exhibit,” says Alousi.

Alousi says visitors may draw parallels to the Charlie Hebdo attack and other attacks on freedom of expression, but to her the "project is distinctly and closely linked to what happened in Iraq and what is continuing to happen there."

The exhibit runs through July.