Friday, January 20, 2012

Egypt library czar calls for new archives law

Ahram Online

In an interview this week with Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency, Zein Abdel-Hadi, recently appointed head of the Egyptian National Library and Archives, laid out an ambitious plan to revamp Egypt’s National Library, restructure the country’s library system, and push for a long-awaited archives law.

According to Abdel-Hadi, the challenges currently facing Egypt’s National Library are tremendous, the first of which has to do with the fact that library management reports to the Ministry of Culture at a time when the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is linked directly to the president’s office. In this context, Abdel-Hadi explained that the National Library’s total budget amounted to LE60 million while the Bibliotheca receives three times this amount.

While the National Library’s funds are hardly enough for wages and manuscript restoration projects, the Bibliotheca is able to conduct cultural activities beyond the scope of a normal library.

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