Link to December 17 (online) New York Times article, "Then and Now: A New Chapter for Baghdad Book Market".
Mutanabi Street has long been the intellectual center of the Iraqi capital. But when a car bomb exploded here in March 2007 killing at 26 people the neighborhood was emptied. Blast walls blocked off the area to traffic and members of Awakening Councils, groups made up largely of former insurgents, opened checkpoints to monitor people entering the neighborhood. Resurrecting this area and breathing life back into the cafes and book stores here has long been a pet project for the Iraqi leadership.
The View from Baghdad's Mutanabi Street (NRP, 10/13/2003)
Anguish in the Ruins of Mutanabi Street: In Baghdad's Literary District, Mourning Loved Ones and a Once-Unifying Place. (Washington Post, 3/10/2007)
In Pictures: Bookselling in Baghdad (BBC worldservice.com)