Alexandria Library Director: Arabs insufficiently informed about Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.12 / Trend, U.Sadikhova /

The Library of Alexandria needs more Azeri books, in order to be able to provide the Arab researchers and visitors, whose number hits more than one million, Director of the Library of Alexandria (Bibliotheca Alexandrina) Ismail Serageldin believes.

"One must admit that Arabs don't know that much about your country and its heritage, in spite of the efforts exerted by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina during the last years to present this culture to the region. But we need to do more in this regard," he said.

A 3-year agreement on cooperation between the Library of Alexandria and Akhundov Library of Azerbaijan is not enough to achieve the kind of cooperation we aim for. So, the agreement should be renewed, Serageldin believes.

Director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, one of the most ancient libraries in the world will visit Azerbaijan Nov. 19 upon the invitation of the YES Azerbaijan international advisory group.

During the visit, adviser to the Egyptian president on the sciences and education and a former vice president of the World Bank Serageldin will hold meetings with officials and discuss deepening cooperation in the sciences and general education.

"We are still taking our first steps in the mutual cooperation between our two countries. Scientific field is one of the aspects through which we can strengthen Egypt-Azerbaijan ties, especially in agriculture, biotechnology and others," Serageldin stressed.

According to him, Azerbaijan's First Lady Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva plays a great role in the cultural scene in Azerbaijan, who is elected a member of the BA Board of Trustees.

"The role played by H.E. Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva in the cultural scene in Azerbaijan assures us that the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) will greatly benefit from her experience. Her position allows her to participate in setting the strategic plans of the BA, in addition to promoting the Azeri culture in Egypt and the Arab world," Serageldin said.

At the same time, H.E. Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, Head of the BA Board of Trustees, is very interested in expanding the cooperation in many fields and through different entities.

The Library of Alexandria plans to hold a number of activities to expand scientific and cultural cooperation between the two countries, he stressed.

They include translation of some of the well-known Azeri books to Arabic and invitation of Azerbaijan as the guest of honor in one of the rounds of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Book Fair, which is held annually.

He said this will contribute to propaganda of the Azerbaijani culture and inform the region about the realities of the country's main problem - Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"The Azeri continuous presence and participation in the activities of the BA, will consequently lead to raising all issues related to Azerbaijan, and among them for sure is Nagorno-Karabakh," Serageldin said.

Ancient Egyptian Alexandria Library was built over 2500 years ago. It was regarded as one of the major research centers of its time - particularly Archimedes and Euclid worked on it.

The Egyptian Government granted the special status to the library - its leaders are subordinated personally to the country's President.

"As a member in the Alexandria University Council, I will work on expanding the cooperation between the two universities, knowing that Alexandria University is one of the most important universities in Egypt and the region," Serageldin said.

The Alexandria University ranked 147th worldwide based on Times ranking 2010. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious universities not only in Egypt, but also in the Middle East.

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