Knowledge without Borders (KWB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with neelwafurat.com – the biggest online Arabic shop for books, to launch an e-library, with the aim of supporting KWB’s efforts to promote reading and offer an opportunity for Emirati families in Sharjah to read online books alongside the printed books provided as part of its home libraries project.
The MoU was signed at the conclusion of KWB’s participation in the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2014), which ended on 25 April.
The agreement was signed at the KWB Stand in the Festival by Rashid Mohammad Al Kous, General Manager of Knowledge without Borders, and Salah Bassam Chebaro, General Manager of neelwafurat.com, in the presence of HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Director of the Sharjah International Book Fair, and a number of Arab publishers and media representatives.
Speaking on the occasion, Rashid Al Kous said the launch of the e-library is a new approach embraced by KWB to provide an additional way to promote the culture of reading through a valuable collection of Arabic books that have been carefully selected to cover various historical, heritage, scientific, and literary topics as well as popular fiction and books for children.”
He stressed that the new approach towards e-books will not be at the expense of paper books, which will continue to enjoy their distinguished status by the Knowledge without Borders, emphasizing that Sharjah has always been, and will continue to support publishers in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who is always keen to support books, authors, and publishers, and launch initiatives that support a culture of reading.
Al Kous added, “We have been very keen to select the best e-book application available in the market, so that books remain attractive to readers. With this addition readers of electronic books available in the KWB’s e-book store can now benefit from the various characteristics inherent to the e-book experience that encourage reading and research, such as the possibility of making the fonts of texts larger, colouring, copying, searching, and translating words. KWB will be engaged over the next five months in selecting books and completing the legal procedures regarding the intellectual property of the selected books, in preparation for the official launch of the e-library during the Sharjah International Book Fair in November this year.”
Salah Chebaro, General Manager of Neelwafurat.com, said, “The e-library will help deliver the cultural message adopted by KWB in a modern means and to a wider sector of readers.”. He added, “This step marks the beginning of our collaboration with this important and vital cultural initiative, and we are committed to processing the books as per standards and specifications set by KWB, in order to achieve the maximum level interaction between readers and books.”
Under the agreement, neelwafurat.com will create a free library of 50 online books to be selected by KWB. The e library will be available through a free application on smart phones and handheld devices running on Android and Apple’s iOS mobile operating systems.
The e-library will be available to 3,000 families in the first phase of the project. Family members will be able to log into the e-book library through cards that will be given to them. The cards will have a serial number and a secret code. Access to the e library application will be available on a maximum of five different devices for each family. KWB will give each selected family the opportunity to benefit from the e-library’s contents for one full year, as passwords will not be valid after the lapse of this year.
Knowledge without Border concluded its participation in the 6th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, which featured a wide range of events and activities throughout 11 days. KWB presented a model of library designed in the shape of the slogan of Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital to Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation and Chairman of the Executive Committee for Sharjah’s Islamic Culture Capital 2014, as a gift from KWB to the celebrations committee.
Knowledge without Borders already bought about 15,000 books from publishers who participated in the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, in order to distribute them to Emirati families in the emirate of Sharjah as part of its family libraries initiative that aims to distribute 50 books to each of more than 42,000 families in the emirate. KWB also organised an array of entertaining and cultural events that brought happiness and joy to the festival’s visitors.
For more information, please contact:
Yousef Al Taweel
+971 50 5562520
+971 50 5383973
+971 50 3512183