April 13, 2009 2:43 PM

Iraq, once a country of fervent readers, now starves for books

When Maysoon Kadhim began working on her master's thesis at Baghdad University two years ago, she braced for the challenge. After all, her paper's subject is Shakespeare, whose prose can perplex even native English speakers. Kadhim, of course, grew up with Arabic. But that wasn't the source of her biggest frustrations. Instead, they've come from trying to get her hands on the right books.

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