Egypt Independent

Bibliotheca Alexandrina to rebuild ‘Egypt’s memory’



In an attempt to modernize Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s vision and engagement with the community, its director, Dr. Mustafa El-Fiky, has announced preparations for “The Memory of Modern Egypt,” an interactive website that will aim to build students’ and general audiences’ knowledge outside of academic realm, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

El-Fiky explained that the new website provides a detailed overview of Egyptian history, including that of small towns in addition to oral heritage and classic Egyptian occupations.

El-Fiky also ensured the Ministry of Education will have a role in creating the content on the website saying, “we will be collaborating with the Ministry of Education to make use of the website’s services within the history curricula in schools to emphasize the sense of patriotism.”

The website is more than just a plan, said Al-Fiky, pointing out that the Bibliotheca has already begun an introductory tour in Ciaran as well as Alexandrian schools.

He also pointed out that public schools will be given 500 copies of “The Memory of Egypt” magazine, emphasizing his support for it as well as its cheap prices.

Finally, El-Fiky announced the website will be launched by the end of 2018 and will be available through a variety of apps. In a similar context, El-Fiky also announced a new book will be released by the name of “From the Memory of Egypt”, and will involve rare photos as well as documents that will see the light for the first time.

The current website defines the “Memory of Modern Egypt” project as “an attempt to create the biggest digital library for valuable cultural and historical material that concerns the modern Egyptian history, beginning with the Mohammed Ali era in 1805 and ending with President Sadat’s era in 1981.”

According to the website, the material was collected from the libraries of some of the most important
politicians and writers in Egyptian history, as well as material kept by institutions and private collectors. The material takes the reader through a 200-year-journey into the insights of contemporary Egyptian history and also includes the historical archive of Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Finally the website concludes, “the digital library hopes to become the main source when it comes to Egyptian historical material, therefore was designed to accept new material whenever found.”

The Website won Al-Kindi Informatics Award as the best cultural Arabic website in 2009.
Bibliothequa Alexandrina was rebuilt in 2002 after the original one died in a fire. According the its official website the Bibliothequa Alexandrina, “aims to be a center of excellence in the production and
dissemination of knowledge and to be a place of dialogue, learning and understanding between cultures and peoples.”

It also aspires to be the “the world’s window to Egypt and Egypt’s window to the world, as
well as “ a leading institution in the digital age and a center of learning, tolerance, dialogue and
understanding.”

The Bibliotheca is considered the largest library in Egypt and the sixth largest in the world. In addition to almost eight million books, the library has many sections such as the planetarium, three museums including the Antiquities Museum, the Sadat Museum and Manuscript Museum in addition to the visually impaired section and conference center, according to the Bibliotheca official
website.