January 2014 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Tripoli Library Arson

This past Friday, extremists torched Tripoli's Al-Saeh Library, run by Greek Orthodox priest Father Ibrahim Sarrouj. Conflicting reports indicate that Sarrouj was targeted after rumors circulated online that he had insulted the Prophet Mohammad and/or had a pamphlet in his collection that insulted Islam. According to the Huffington Post UK, the fire left up to 78,000 books and manuscripts unsalvageable.

Lebanese blogger Elie Fares wrote on Saturday night: "The country is burning, let's not worry about a library. A lot of people might say that. But the library in question was a true national treasure, containing 78,000 books, many of which exist in very few copies and many of which are, ironically, books about Islam."

Today, Father Sarrouj told reporters that he forgives his as-yet unknown attackers.