Friday, September 02, 2016
I live quite close to a modern mall with a big grocery store in the basement and a food court on the second floor. The mall has the simple name of City Center. It unfortunately has no book store. At orientation we were told that Kurdistan was a predominantly oral culture and that reading books is not an activity many people here do for fun. That means finding books in Kurdish or Arabic is difficult, not to mention English. The only books I have seen here so far have been at the university. I was also under the initial impression that everybody here could read. But, I have been told that many people, especially older people in rural areas are in fact illiterate. This is very different from former Soviet states like Kyrgyzstan where Moscow made sure that everybody could read in both their native language and Russian.