Zubair Corporation launches public libraries
As part of ‘Ikra’ initiative which aims at establishing libraries in hospitals and other public buildings, The Zubair Corporation has launched public library areas at the Royal Hospital in Muscat. The locations for the library zones were selected in cooperation with the administration of the hospital to achieve the outmost benefit for the staff as well as the hospital visitors.
The launch of the libraries come as part of The Zubair Corporation strategic vision to promote and support local Omani writers and their publications and book titles. The initiative will also enhance the reading habits in the local community and will encourage people to spend more time reading.
The ‘Ikra’ (Arabic word meaning ‘to Read’) initiative, was officially launched at the Bait Al-Zubair Theater earlier this year and is one of a series of community-based initiatives from the Social Advisory Committee at The Zubair Corporation. The initiative was unveiled in the presence of Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Zubair, Managing Director of The Zubair Corporation, and a number of Omani writers and prominent personalities drawn from the local literary scene, in addition to members of cultural institutions.
Ibrahim Al-Salmi Social Communication Manager at The Zubair Corporation said: “The ‘Ikra’ initiatives comes as part of our strategies and goals to achieve communication and to contact and develop the community as part of our CSR practice. The first step of this vision was in establishing the Social Advisory Committee which is assigned with the task of studying the needs of the society from different perspectives, and accordingly adopt the programs and projects.”
“We started first at Royal Hospital with libraries including a total of 200 books. The books in the libraries are classified according to various topics and fields. These libraries will be followed with the launch of other public libraries, as we have already started coordination with other organizations.”
The Social Advisory Committee at The Zubair Corporation consists of a group of talented and committed Omanis who are active in their local communities, especially in the field of volunteer work and community based initiatives. The committee studies the different aspects and needs of the Omani community and finds ways of providing support in cooperation with the private sector. The recommendations are then discussed and studied in accordance with specific agreed-upon criteria. ‘Ikra’ initiative is one of the recommendations that aimed to enhance the cultural aspect in the community as well as to support Omani writers, and to encourage individuals to read.
Yaqoub Al-Khanbashi, an Omani writer and a member of Social Advisory Committee at The Zubair Corporation noted, “Omani Society welcomes such social initiatives, especially the cultural ones, as they have a positive impact on the community. The goals of Ikra are compatible with the goals of the official institutions which are concerned with improving literacy levels and educational outcomes. Therefore, establishing public libraries is a good idea that will encourage people to spend their time in reading, and everyone is aware of the importance of reading in building the human being intellectually.”
“Starting at Royal Hospital and moving to other hospitals later, the initiative not only encourages patients and visitors to the hospitals to spend their time reading, it also promotes and supports local Omani writers and their publications and book titles. The initiative aims to enhance the concept of reading among the public and we are pleased that The Zubair Corporation is supporting the idea. This program will be a start for a number of other initiatives in this year.”
Dr. Qasim bin Ahmed Al-Salmi, General Manager of Royal Hospital said: “We appreciate this initiative of The Zubair Corporation, which contributes in raising awareness on the importance of reading, and spending free time in reading to expand the knowledge. The Royal Hospital welcomes such partnership with the private sector. We are pleased to create the suitable environment for implementing different initiatives. The ‘ikra’ initiative comes in line with the hospital’s vision and goals towards investing the time of our staff, patients and visitors with something beneficial.”
Asma Al-Lawati, Head of Public Relations Department at Royal Hospital said: “The initiative comes as part of the integrated roles of the community-based systems. The Zubair Corporation in cooperation with the administration of Royal Hospital aim to raise awareness within the Omani society on this issue and to promote talented Omani writers. The patients, visitors and staff will all benefit from this initiative”.
Badriya Al-Bulushi, Public Relations Officer at the Royal Hospital noted: “Ikra initiative will raise awareness on the importance of spending time reading, and also encourages the visitors to widen their knowledge through reading in various topics. The libraries will also give readers the opportunity to get to know talented Omani writers. So far we have seen encouraging reactions from the staff as well as the visitors to the success of the initiative. We will put in our efforts to guide the visitors and the staff to the libraries to achieve the highest benefit.”
The Zubair Corporation through the Social Advisory Committee has launched a number of initiatives this year. The Committee is a social initiative of the Corporation and is the first of its kind in Oman.