Lawyers launch crowdfund to rebuild Gaza's 'oldest bookstore'
The two-story Samir Mansour bookshop was built 21 years ago and was an integral part of the local Gaza community, serving as both a bookshop and a community centre for Palestinian school children.
Mansour had received a phone call from the military at 6am on Tuesday asking if he was in his shop. He was at his home at the time, however later learned that his shop and its contents had been blown up.
This fundraiser is managed by Mahvish Rukhsana and Clive Stafford Smith, founder of Reprieve, a legal action non-profit 501(c)(3) organisation.
A journalist who worked at the AP for less than a month was fired after US conservatives released old social media posts she wrote about Palestine, and her involvement in Pro-Palestinian activism during her time at university https://t.co/gV8MhDnyON— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) May 21, 2021
At the time of writing, $56,637 has been raised of the $250,000 goal, with over 1,000 donors.
"The bookstore was like my soul", 53-year-old Mansour, who was born in Gaza, told NBC News.
News of the attack on Mansour's shop has drawn anger and condemnation from around the world.
"If I compare it to what’s happening, this is minimal, but destroying the main bookshop we have is something serious," said Refaat Alareer, an academic and the editor of "Gaza Writes Back," a collection of short stories.
The community are mourning the bookshop, which was surrounded by universities and housed several English-language book clubs.
"Books are the source of knowledge and forming an identity," a post on the bookshop’s Instagram reads.
“We will rebuild.”