Summary of “A Jordan Bookseller’s 24-Hour ‘Emergency Room for the Mind'”

He wants to ensure there is always a place in Jordan where one can access the healing power of books, no matter the hour or the price.
All of his prices are negotiable, and he has both a generous loan policy and a robust book exchange program, where patrons can swap any book they bring in for one in the store.
Hamzeh refused the gift after noticing a line that described Israelis as “The butcher.” Elbaum, who first met Hamzeh during a summer stay in Jordan studying Arabic, has maintained a close friendship with him, and Hamzeh recently gave him six volumes of the Talmud in Arabic.
In 1921 the shop passed to Salman’s son Khalil, who would later buy the libraries of departing British officials in an auction bid, gaining a massive inventory that still fills Hamzeh’s shelves, from books on the Commonwealth to Latin primers.
“A favorite book! No! That is extremism! To say one book is the best, better than any other no, I could never do it.” He loves all the books in his store equally and fiercely, and that is that.
His clientele is dedicated, but not wealthy, and Hamzeh may have to leave al-Maa, though for many it is impossible to imagine him doing anything but sipping tea at 3 a.m., cross-legged in a corner of his shop, providing literary guidance and carefully curated book suggestions to all who stop by.
Hamzeh springs into action, grabbing books from shelves and expertly teasing out volumes from piles around the store.
As the man leaves, Hamzeh shows me a children’s book in Arabic about the Wright brothers that he had pulled down, a copy of one of the first books he ever read. He starts singing “I believe I can fly,” thumbing the pages and telling me how his father had taught him to read during those late, quiet nights at the shop.

The orginal article.