Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, vice president of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and head of the advisory committee of Sharjah World Book Capital (SWBC) 2019, has issued a directive to restore and develop three libraries that were damaged by the explosions in Beirut.
The project will be implemented by the Sharjah World Book Capital Office (SWBCO) with Assabil, a non-governmental organisation founded in 1997 to promote public libraries in Lebanon that are free and open to all.
Following the explosions that left Beirut with damages worth billions the libraries too were destroyed and would require extensive renovation including of the Monnot library, which suffered major damage, including improvement of the library’s internal and external environment; as well as supplying new equipment to upgrade the Bachoura and Geitawi libraries.
According to Sheikha Bodour, the initiative aims to send a message of solidarity to the Lebanese community, symbolising the sympathy of millions of Arabs for the ordeal the people of Lebanon were going through.
She also called on cultural and humanitarian organisations in the Arab region and the world to allocate funds to restore libraries, art galleries, and cultural organisations that were damaged by the explosion in August.
Commenting on the initiative, Sheikha Bodour said: “Restoring libraries and cultural centres are as important as supplying humanitarian aid.
“As we stand by people who lost their homes and businesses, we should not forget how vital the cultural role played by Beirut’s libraries, art galleries and institutions, has been — not only for Lebanon but the entire Arab region and the world.”
“Their revival will ensure the preservation and continuity of Lebanon’s rich cultural legacy, and hopefully help the Lebanese people recover faster by bringing a sense of normalcy to the city.”
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