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Students rally to help restore Lebanese library

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Lebanese-Americans from across the country have rallied together to restore the Al Saeh Library in Tripoli, Lebanon, which was tragically destroyed by extremists on January 3rd.

After hearing about the devastating attack, hundreds of people took to Facebook and Twitter expressing anger. Student Michelle Makhoul was one of them.

“This was Lebanon’s second largest library. I was just so frustrated when I saw a photo of the books lit in flames,” she said. Father Ibrahim Sarrouj, 72, is the caretaker of the 500-square meter bookstore.

Opened in 1972, Father Sarrouj has collected thousands of encyclopedias, books, and magazines that are near and dear to his heart. The library contained more than 80,000 English, French, and Arabic books. Although some of the book’s values may be irreplaceable, Makhoul wanted to take action.

“At that moment, I knew I wanted to do something. I started making some calls and suddenly, this turned into a massive project.”

A few hours later, Lebanese celebrities and national news media began spreading the news on Facebook and Twitter. Drop-boxes to collect new or slightly used books were quickly established in Southeastern Michigan, Miami, and Lebanon. Several other locations are also being organized in Chicago and Boston.

Makhoul’s group, which is being dubbed “Youth for a Better Lebanon,” are accepting donations of new or slightly used books from now until January 31st. If you'd like to donate, email the organizers at alsaehbookdrive@gmail.com. They have also created a promotional video, which can be viewed here.

DROP-BOX LOCATIONS

Michigan:

Our Lady of Redemption Melkite Church 29293 Lorraine Ave, Warren, MI 48093 Available 9am - 5pm Monday - Friday. Please use the entrance of the hall covered by the awning.

Wayne State University January 21 & January 22 Wayne State Campus in front of the UGL

Cloud Nine Hookah Lounge 25633 W Warren St, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127 January 23 & January 24 Please contact Jessica for any questions. jessicat.haj@hotmail.com

Florida:

University of Miami - University Center (UC) 1st Floor 1300 Miller Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146 Available from 1/13 to 1/20.

Lebanon:

ANY Virgin Megastore location.

Floyd the Dog Pub -- Mar Mkhayel facing Al Manar Gas Station Beirut, Lebanon. Ask for Bashir Wardini. Location is open everyday after 6pm.

Notre Dame University's Library in Zouk Mosbeh. Monday to Friday from 8AM to 10PM. Saturdays from 10AM to 4PM.

Kfarchima: Adab w Riyada club. Take the main road leading towards Bseba (tari2 l der) Following the clubs signs, location is 200m to the left. There will be someone there to receive donations. Location is open everyday after 4pm.

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