Meet the man crowd-funding Gaza's first English library

Meet the man crowd-funding Gaza's first English library Abu Toha

Beit Lahia, Gaza - Escaping the confines of the besieged Gaza Strip, often described as an "open-air prison", is a nearly impossible dream for many of its two million residents.

But 24-year-old Mosab Abu Toha has found a way to free himself - through books.

"Freedom is a state of mind. [With books], you're liberating yourself by living in an imaginary world where there are no boundaries ... If I choose to be free, I can be free through my writing, through speaking," Abu Toha told Al Jazeera.

Over the years, Abu Toha has amassed a substantial collection at his third-floor apartment in Beit Lahia

As an English literature graduate, he has a thirst for books that has always been difficult to quench in Gaza, where new English books are hard to find. PDF files are not a great alternative, as Gaza suffers from frequent, lengthy power cuts.

"Whenever I go to a bookshop or library, I rarely see English books, especially books by Edward Said, Noam Chomsky - these intellectuals who write in English," Abu Toha said, noting that translations into Arabic take about three years.


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