Abdo Murtadda Al Husseini died yesterday in his hometown Baalbeck.
He was the owner of, as it was reported, the largest private library in the Middle East. One newspaper put the number of books at about a million. But that’s not the point.
He died yesterday without achieving his lifetime dream of converting his library into a public library.
He called upon the local authorities to undertake this project, since he could not afford the cost, but his calls fell on deaf ears. Our leaders and politicians had and still have more pressing and more important matters at hand.
A group of his friends formed a club in his honor (while he was alive) to help him preserve the collection but they couldn’t do more.
Abdo started collecting books when he was a boy. He started by selling fruit seeds and used his earnings to buy prints. Although he had to sell some of his collectables, later on, to make ends meet.
So then, was he a man with a purpose, a book addict or a bookworm?
Is there or will there ever be a public library in Baalbeck, or in any other city in Lebanon?
Does anyone know the location of Beirut’s public library?
Whatever happened to the project of converting the law school building into one?