A delegation from the Knowledge without Borders (KwB), the Sharjah-based cultural project, has paid a visit to Hamburg Public Library in Germany to evaluate the number of readers borrowing the books that the project had recently presented to the library as part of its programme to bring Arab and Islamic reading material to a wider international audience.
"KwB is keen to follow-up on all the initiatives it has launched outside the UAE. The donation of these books to Hamburg Public Library was an activity undertaken to provide greater access to Arab literature and culture among Arab communities in Germany. It aims to inspire other Arabic cultural institutions to achieve the same objectives," said Rashid Al Kous, General Manager of Knowledge without Borders.
With a population of more than 1.8 million, Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the sixth largest city in the European Union. It is home to a significant number of Arab and Muslim communities. A transport hub and a major industrial, financial and media centre, Hamburg has a number of prestigious universities and colleges that attract tens of thousands of students from all over the world each year, including Arabs.
Reading material donated to Hamburg Public Library by KwB included titles from genres covering literature, history and Arab and Islamic culture, as well as the Muslim and Arab renaissance. Also included were books written by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, along with a collection of works about the UAE's history, Islamic tolerance and Arab contribution to global culture.
"A significant part of KwB’s trip was concerned with taking a close look at how public institutions and literary organisations in the west attract more people to reading. We are monitoring their procedures and will adopt the same methods in the Emirate of Sharjah if we believe they can be successful in attracting more readers," added Al Kous.
Hella Schwemer-Martiensen, Director of Hamburg Public Library, said, "Knowledge without Borders play a vital role in promoting culture and education among Arab communities in Germany. The visit they paid to our library shows their dedication in continuing what they have started. Their commitment to expanding our available range of literature will give the Arab community in Germany the opportunity to stay in touch with their Arab-Islamic culture. It will also foster a love of reading Arabic books in a wider number of Arab communities in western countries."
In a separate development relating to Germany, KwB debuts its participation at ITB Berlin 2016, the world’s leading travel trade show. KwB’s participation was the first "cultural" tourism participation at ITB Berlin, whereas it exchanged experiences and promoted Sharjah as one the Arab world’s premiere cultural and tourism destinations. KwB was one of the strategic delegations who participated under the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority’s pavilion.