Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and Founder and CEO of the UAE-based Kalimat Group, supported the re-construction of the 21-year-old Samir Mansour Library that was destroyed in Gaza.
Inclusive earlier of over 100,000 books worth $700,000 (Dh2.5 million), the popular Samir Mansour Library in Gaza, was burnt to ashes on May 18, but since then sparked enormous donations for its revival.
Samir Mansour, the 58-year-old library owner who recently participated at the Sharjah International Book Fair for the first time, is now preparing for the re-constructed library at double size than the earlier.
The three-store library over 1,000 square meters now houses 250,000 books in various languages covering science, philosophy, self-help, art, history, fiction, novels, poetry and children’s books. It is due to open to the public before year-end.
Mansour began his career in the printing sector in the 1980s before gradually establishing his own publishing house and launching the library in 2000. ‘From compiling pages and preparing a book for printing, I gained experience in all stages of the book production,’ he said.
He aimed through his library to preserve the collective Palestinian identity and memory and to export the work of Palestinian authors, poets, novelists and academics into global markets.
“We have talents and brilliant minds who deserve an opportunity. I want to show the world what Gaza has to offer,” said Mansour.
To Mansour, Gaza enjoys a high readership rate, because reading is part of the lifestyle in the city,
People as young as 12 read lost of books in various fields,’ he explained.
During the coming year, Mansour plans to concentrate on translating into Arabic famous Western literary works for famous authors like Victor Hugo and Fyodor Dostoevsky.