Sharjah Public Library and AECID Library Join Forces to Promote Islamic Studies

Sharjah Public Library and AECID Library Join Forces to Promote Islamic Studies

The Sharjah Public Library (SPL), an affiliate of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) Library have signed an agreement to jointly promote Islamic studies and research and enhance cultural exchange globally. The agreement paves the way for the two parties to work within a strategic framework to achieve their shared vision of boosting cultural dialogue worldwide by designing joint virtual programmes, and book exchanges, as well as improving people’s access to knowledge resources.

The agreement stipulates that SPL and AECID Library will initiate Islamic research programmes and competitions; support Islamic research publications; and strengthen access to access refence material and bibliographies related to Islamic studies and research. Furthermore, the two libraries will prioritise the exchange of knowledge and expertise and share best practices.

The agreement was signed by HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA; and D. Guzmán Palacios Fernández, Director of Cultural and Scientific Relations, AECID Library, at a virtual ceremony, in the presence of Antonio Alvarez Barthe, Ambassador of Spain to the UAE; Jaime Iglesia Sanchez-Cervera, Deputy Head of Missions (Political and Cultural Affairs); Elena González, Head of the Department of Cultural Cooperation and Promotion, AECID; Araceli García, Director of AECID Library; Luisa Mora Villarejo, Head of the Islamic Library of AECID; and Eman Bushulaibi, Director, Sharjah Public Library.

Highlighting the significance of the partnership, HE Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA said: “The agreement translates the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to strengthen the role of libraries in promoting access to knowledge while serving as a platform for cultural exchange.

He added, “We are proud of this cooperation that brings us together with one of the most important knowledge and cultural agencies in Europe. We are excited to work with AECID to empower researchers, students, historians and others interested in the field, as they gain access to a vast repository of important books, manuscripts and documents covering the field of Islamic studies. Today, we turn a new leaf in presenting a collaborative Arab and international model to jointly encourage the pursuit of knowledge, a deeper cultural understanding, and achieving sustainable results in advancing societies and empowering them through books and knowledge.”

For her part, Eman Bushulaibi, Director of Sharjah Public Library, said: “Libraries today are adding a new chapter to the existing narrative of their global presence, by increasing access and availability to interested readers all over the world. This reflects their role and importance in advancing the global cultural scene. This agreement also reinforces the library’s role in promoting Sharjah’s cultural project, which was launched to cultivate people on the pillars of knowledge, awareness and their love for books. We hope that this partnership will achieve its goal of boosting the world’s access to the academic and cultural wealth of the Arab civilisation and increase cultural understanding.

For his part, Antonio Alvarez Barthe, Ambassador of Spain to the UAE, said: “Spain is currently developing an intense cultural, educational and scientific program in the UAE that this year will be reinforced by our participation in the Sharjah Book Fair and Expo. The agreement with the Sharjah Book Authority also underpins the relationship with the emirate of Sharjah, worldwide known for its strong commitment to culture and education.”

Chris Fernando

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