Qatar National Library (QNL) is a modern mechanism to revive the Arabic language, stated Qatar Foundation Chairperson Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser yesterday. Speaking at the inauguration of the new building of the library, Her Highness Sheikha Moza said, “Given that books are a vessel through which civilisations preserve language, we aspire to make this library a modern mechanism to revive the Arabic language and to re-establish its presence as a marker of civilisation.
“Through a new interpretation of our heritage, we can restore the days when Arabic was the universal language of the Middle Ages. When it was synonymous with science and culture, and a source of pride. It was a well-known fact: You speak Arabic, then you are educated.”
Her Highness Sheikha Moza noted that the library aims to become a major reference institution for the Arab and Islamic heritage and a platform for the dissemination of intellectual and literary production. “It is designed in its form and content to be three-dimensional: it is a national library, public library and research library at the same time,” Her Highness Sheikha Moza continued.
“Described as an advanced digital library, QNL will provide its users with quick access to accurate information, and provide new generations with knowledge tools to ensure accurate reading of history,” added Her Highness Sheikha Moza.
“The National Library would not reach these distinguished heights as a monument of knowledge without the unwavering vision of the country’s leadership, from the reign of the father to the son, by supporting sustainable and strategic development projects, particularly in human development,” concluded Her Highness Sheikha Moza.
Machaille al-Naimi, president, Community Development, QF, said, “It is with great pride that we unveil Qatar National Library to the world — this project is a reflection of Qatar’s vision for the future, and the result of a collective effort to preserve our rich culture and heritage. We are deeply honoured to be able to offer a greater insight into the Arab world through our vast collection of resources.”
QNL opened its doors to the public in November 2017 for an experimental period, and since then has welcomed more than 200,000 visitors, and held hundreds of events for visitors of all ages, ranging from early literacy programmes for children to research workshops. The library’s collection includes 1mn books in English, Arabic, and other languages, complemented by a dedicated Children’s Library and Young Adults collection.
The QNL Heritage Library collection includes rare and valuable items related to Arab and Islamic civilisation. Its collection has more than 50,000 items, including manuscripts, early printed books, historical maps, globes, photographs, and scientific instruments. Over the next two weeks, QNL will host a series of public lectures, exhibitions and other events including the inaugural Heritage Library exhibition.
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