Sharjah: On a recent visit to Sharjah’s new iconic cultural landmark — House of Wisdom (HoW) — Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President, International Publishers Association (IPA) received Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth. During her visit, the minister gained a deeper insight into ways this first-of-its-kind social hub in the region has been built as an immersive space for accessing knowledge and learning, cultural exchange and creative pursuits.
Sheikha Bodour and Al Kaabi were accompanied by Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Shurooq; Marwa Al Aqroubi, Director of HoW; Dr. Rashid Khalfan Al Nuaimi, Executive Director of Media Regulatory Office; and Aliaa Al Qasimi, Acting Assistant Undersecratery for the Culture and Creative Industries Sector.
The tour offered a comprehensive overview of HoW’s key features — an impressive collection of physical and digital resources including rare books, its multipurpose halls, spaces dedicated for reading, working, hosting events and exhibitions, fabrication laboratories, and an advanced printing facility.
“Societies advance when they are able to learn from and fully appreciate their history and culture, and know more about the individuals whose invaluable contributions in the past laid the foundations from our present and future. The amalgamation of past achievements with our plans for the future is the premise behind HoW’s overarching vision. That is why this futuristic space for learning is named after the ‘House of Wisdom’ in Baghdad, which was a beacon of knowledge during the Golden Age of Islam,” Sheikha Bodour noted.
The minister added: “The House of Wisdom defines the model of the future library, globally. It is not merely a place for reading and research, but also an immersive space for collaborative learning that provides opportunities for interaction and experimentation to unleash capacities and talents, and foster self-development.”
During the tour, Marwa Al Aqroubi briefed Al Kaabi on the integration of physical spaces with smart, intuitive and extremely user-friendly technologies at HoW. The monumental library, she added, will be home to 305,000 traditional and digital resources in various formats, languages, and genres. Of these, 105,000 will be physical books and includes 100 Braille books and 2400 large print format books, while nearly 200,000 learning resources are in the digital format.
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