While I am starting to write a paper about the establishment of the Iraqi national library, I found this biography in one of resources I used. I liked it a lot and hope that every one in Simmons can share with me reading this biography.
Translation into English from Arabic by Thana, from Abed Al Razaq al Hilaly’s Iraqi Biography 1972, Dar al Nahdah, Baghdad/Beirut.
Al Kermal is the first man who was interested in libraries in Iraq. He was born in Baghdad 1866, and his father was Lebanese and his mother was Iraqi. He worked as teacher for Arabic language in Beirut in 1886 and he studied Latin & Greek language. Then in 1893 he went to Monbileh in France to study theology and returned to Baghdad as a priest.
He was given the management of Al Kermalia school for the year 1894, and he taught both Arabic and French languages in addition to preaching and advisership in church .
He wrote many linguistic and historical articles, one thousand of which were published in Arab newspapers, and he issued a journal named Arab Language in Baghdad in 1911.
He was considered the first manager or librarian to Al Salam library, 1920, which is now the Iraq National Library, and he was one of many people who participated in the establishment of the library by donating many printed materials and also donated money.
He was elected as a member in German eastern community and the Arab scientific community in Damascus, and he was also a member of translation and authorship community & Iraqi publishing for the year 1945.
He has a special library with unique books & publications in criticism, 2500 books & 1500 manuscripts of which were dedicated to the library of the Iraqi National Museum, while the others in foreign languages remained in the library of the monastery (monastery was established by al Keramluen in Baghdad in 1722).
He died in 1947, but he remained in the Iraqis’ memory as a man of culture, and prophet of love between the different religions in Iraq and between Arabic language and foreign languages.
From Thana, a participant in the Simmons GSLIS Middle East training programs