- The library also allows borrowing books for the first time, and names a section the Arab Reading Challenge section
The Library of Alexandria, one of the most significant cultural monuments in the Arab world, has introduced the Arab Reading Challenge (ARC) wing, after a donation of 150,000 books in various genres including fiction, history, science and more. ARC falls under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI).
HE Saeed Al Eter, Assistant Secretary-General of Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives said, “Since its launch two years ago, ARC has successfully become the largest knowledge project in the Arab world, collaborating with many important cultural institutions across the region. The initiative seeks to expand its reach beyond students and schools, and to engage dynamically and directly with cultural and educational institutions in local communities across various countries.”
He continued, “MBRGI’s partnership with the Library of Alexandria translates ARC’s vision to actively participate in reigniting the development process in the Arab world through knowledge, culture and intellectualism.”
“ARC falls under the MBRGI umbrella, which embodies many initiatives and institutions sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Since its launch, the foundation has been steadfastly committed to improving communities in the Arab world by spreading culture, positivity and hope. Spreading knowledge and education is a fundamental pillar of the foundation’s work, which seeks primarily to rebuild and improve the situation in the Arab world,” he concluded.
A Door to Arab Culture This stands as an important partnership between ARC and the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, with an effort to maximise student participation in ARC in Egypt. It will also be the first time that school students will be allowed to borrow books from the library, in order to provide them with quality reading material, and to engrain in them the habit of reading daily.
The signing of the agreement was attended by ARC Secretary General Dr. Najla Al Shamsi, and Director of Public Relations and International Contacts at the Library of Alexandria Dr. Sherif Riad, on behalf of the library Directors Dr. Mustafa Al Faki and Marwa Al Gharabawy.
Under the agreement, the Library of Alexandria committed to making the books available to all schools participating in ARC in Egypt, including sending mobile buses to reach schools that do not have access to the library, as well as coordinating school trips to bring students to the library itself.
Najla Al Shamsi said, “ARC is keen to partner with various cultural institutions, both globally and regionally, in order to provide books and educational material for students wherever they are. The initiative seeks to instill reading as a daily habit among young Arabs – by engaging the largest number of stakeholders possible in activities that promote literacy, we get closer to achieving our goal.”
“The agreement with the Library of Alexandria, one of the most iconic cultural institutions in the Arab world, makes reading more accessible to students across all of Egypt, who can borrow books in order to participate in the challenge.” She continued, “In the second round of the competition, which concluded this October, we saw an exciting amount of participation from Egypt, with almost three million students participating from over 14,000 schools. This demonstrates that passion and commitment of students in Egypt to participate and excel in the challenge.”
Al Shamsi added, “Egypt has always been a gateway to the Arab culture with many generations of Egyptian writers, media professionals, teachers and people who have helped share Arab intellectualism for generations. Through this partnership, we hope to help build a generation of citizens armed with knowledge and culture, who can contribute to enriching their present and future for many more generations to come.”
“Choosing to partner with the Library of Alexandria reflects the importance of this city, which is known for its Mediterranean cultural identity. It is an incubator of the most relevant literary trends, and is a bridge for dialogue between Eastern and Western civilisations,” she concluded.
Director of the Library Dr. Mustafa Al Faki said, “The Library of Alexandria is one of the most important cultural landmarks in the Arab world, and believes in the importance of ARC’s mission to enhance knowledge and culture among students in the Arab world.”
He added that the Library of Alexandria is a hub for global knowledge, housing a large number of books from Eastern and Western cultures. This will undoubtedly benefit students who ambitiously participate in the Arab Reading Challenge.