Saad Eskander & Sara Farhan: The Looting and Repatriation of Iraq’s Archives (Part 2)

/ University of Toronto Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies


Saad Eskander, Sara Farhan


February 6, 2023

Join host, Yasamin Jameh, in learning about the important role of Iraq’s National Archives in helping Iraqis to rebuild and heal from their tumultuous recent history. 

The 34th episode of Parse is an excerpt from a discussion between Saad Eskander and Sara Farhan. This interview is part of a more extensive seminar organized by the Iranian Studies Institute at U of T titled “The Looting and Repatriation of Iraq’s Archives”, which sheds light on how the US-led occupation of Iraq contributed to the looting and displacement of the vast holdings of Iraq’s Archives. Saad Eskander served as the Director General of the National Library and Archives of Iraq from 2003 to 2015, where he led a laudable effort to keep the library open, preserve the surviving documents, and fight to repatriate materials taken by the Americans. Sara Farhan holds a PhD. From York University and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Northern British Columbia. Her research addresses the history of science, medicine, and technology in the modern Middle East focusing on knowledge production, professionalization, and the politics of archives and record keeping. In this discussion Eskandar and Farhan discuss the political, legal, and administrative challenges of Iraqi archival practices since 2003, and the ways in which Iraqi archivists have addressed contemporary realities of the region.   
To watch the full talk, click here: ⁠The Looting and Repatriation of Iraq’s Archives – 2 June 2023⁠