Sharjah: The Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment (KF) has donated 600 titles to São Paulo Public Library, six school libraries, as well as community service centres in Brazil that host a rich collection of Arabic books.
The books have been provided as part of the foundation’s ‘Pledge a Library’ initiative, which seeks to offer Arab and refugee children, and those who live in less fortunate communities access to books. The Sharjah-based non-profit also helps children develop a fondness for their language and heritage even if they are away from their homelands.
“Children living away from their country of origin have tougher times with questions like identity, nationality, and sense of belonging. Through these books, we hope that students and young readers of Arab descent will experience the works of prominent authors, intellectuals and researchers in the Arab world, as well as works in literature and science from around the world translated to Arabic,” said Amnah Al Mazimi, manager of Kalimat Foundation.
She pointed out that one of the foundation’s key objectives is to reach out to children in trauma-affected regions, and nurture their capabilities with the knowledge contained in books. “Reaching out to Arab refugees in Brazil is a challenge, given their huge numbers and distribution over many Brazilian cities. We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of all Brazilian institutions for helping us overcome this challenge through engaging and communicating with the initiative to get libraries and Arabic books,” added Al Mazimi.
Meanwhile, Silvia Antibes, coordinator of the Library Department of the Culture Secretary in the State of Sao Paulo, pointed out this initiative will go a long way in strengthening bilateral relations between Sharjah’s and Brazilian cultural entities. “Sharjah’s participation as the São Paulo International Book Fair’s guest of honour has already been a landmark event in furthering cultural understanding and exchange between us, and the library initiative really adds to that,” she said.