Al Quds University Public Library Opens its Doors in Jerusalem with Funds from Bahrain through UNDP
East Jerusalem, 06 July 2015 – Al Quds University and UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People inaugurated today the first Palestinian public library in the old city of Jerusalem, with funds from the Royal Charity Organization – Kingdom of Bahrain.
Al Quds University Public Library aims to contribute towards raising awareness, spreading knowledge, and upholding the resilience of the local community of East Jerusalem. The library, which has been restored and rehabilitated by UNDP, is a three-level historical building located inside the Old City walls. It is equipped with the most up-to-date computer hardware placed in a multipurpose room, as well as a quiet reading area and a cafeteria with a terrace overlooking the city.
Dr Rashid Al-Jayosi, Director of the Public Library at Al-Quds University highlighted that this library will contribute to strengthening knowledge and culture in East Jerusalem. “This library is also considered as a meeting point between the local community and Al Quds University, especially that there are no public libraries in the holy city. In addition, this project aims to enhance the community role of Al-Quds University,” he added.
The library has the capacity to absorb around 10,000 books and is initially housing approximately 3,000. In addition, a team of librarians from Hind Al Husseini College Library supported the process of indexing and cataloging the books. The library will also offer its visitors, be them students, teachers, children, researchers, journalists, and other off-campus users, free access to a wide scope of e-books and specialized electronic scientific references.
Representing of His Majesty King Hamad, and RCO chairman Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Secretary General of the Royal Charity Organization, Dr Mustafa Al Sayyed, reaffirmed the Kingdom’s support to the Palestinian people. “We are proud to celebrate inaugurating this library in this holy city and in this blessed month of Ramadan. We would not have achieved this important project without the support of our wise leadership and your great cooperation,” he said.
In addition to the renovation and refurbishment of the library, UNDP through this project supported the capacity development of Al Quds University in the management of libraries, established a cataloguing system and a website.
Khaled Shahwan, UNDP Deputy Special Representative of Operations highlighted that a library is a centre for learning, particularly for those with little or no access like in East Jerusalem. “Hosting the library in this historical building will contribute to preserving Palestinian culture while providing a public space for the Jerusalem community to interact,”he added.
The ceremony was held at the premises of Al Quds University Public Library on Monday, 06 July 2015 in the presence of Dr Imad Abu Kishek, President of Al Quds University, Dr Mustafa Al Sayyed, Secretary General of the Royal Charity Organization – Kingdom of Bahrain, and Khaled Shahwan, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator.
It is worth noting that the Al Quds University Public Library project was implemented through UNDP’s Facilitating Access to Infrastructure Resilience in ‘Area C’ and East Jerusalem (FAIR) programme. The FAIR programme is a multi-donor platform which aims to empower and strengthen national institutions to plan and deliver essential public and social Infrastructure in ‘Area C’ and East Jerusalem through providing increased access to sustainable, equitable and affordable infrastructure.
Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see this website.