From Moqtada Al Sadr's
uncle to Gertrude Bell, Najaf's old city has welcomed many famous guests
In the covered alleyways
of old Najaf in Iraq, poetry and philosophy books compete on laden shelves with
economic treatises, the Quran and other theological tomes for students'
attention.Since leaving his native Bangladesh for the Shiite holy city three years
ago, religious student Mohammed Ali Reda has regularly frequented secondhand
bookstores. There are many like him in Najaf. Some wear turbans - black for
descendants of the Prophet Mohammed, and white for religious scholars.