SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina – During Bosnia's 1992-95 war and the siege of Sarajevo, residents moved a collection of ancient books and manuscripts to eight different locations to save them from destruction.
On Wednesday, thanks to a $9 million donation from Qatar, Bosnia's president and a Qatar minister opened a new library in the heart of the Ottoman-era Old Town section of Sarajevo to house those books and more than 100.000 manuscripts. The oldest is a handwritten Islamic encyclopedia that was written in Arabic in 1105.
The Gazi Husrev-bey Library is located on the site of a famous mosque of the same name that was opened in 1531. The books and manuscripts were kept in 1537-1863, then moved to another building.
The new library stands where the original one did.