Books are the clearest mirrors of the cultures they emerge from, and Sharjah – the cultural capital and third largest city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – has flown some 600 Arabic language titles to São Paulo, Brazil, to spark imaginations of the young refugees and immigrant population of Arabs settled there.
Through this books and knowledge transfer initiative, Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment (KF) has supported the São Paulo Public Library with five school libraries and community service centers in Sao Paulo , with new titles from diverse genres.
The books drive was carried out by ‘Pledge a Library’, an initiative of the Sharjah-based non-profit Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment (KF), which has been ensuring that several children can exercise their right to read by giving them access to books. Kalimat Foundation does this by facilitating the provision of books in public libraries and refugee camps worldwide.
Amna Al Mazmi, Manager of Kalimat Foundation, has shed light on the importance of this literary initiative, saying: “Children living away from their country of origin have tougher times with questions like identity and belongingness. We hope that young readers of Arab descent and refugees living in Brazil will be able to address some of these important questions, and have a window into the Arab culture through these 600 books we have brought to their schools and libraries.
“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 that collaborated with us and helped us connect with them.”
Silvia Antibes, Coordinator of the Library Department of the Culture Secretary in the State of Sao Paulo and the Cultural Director of Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is very important for the Government of São Paulo to receive this donation because with this action we can benefit from the cultural exchange it will bring and we will be receiving guests and be able to provide interaction with the refugee community.”
The collection features works of prominent authors, and intellectuals in the Arab world.
Since its inception by Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment, in April 2016, Kalimat Foundation seeks to ensure the basic right of every child to read and to have access to books. It strives to promote the importance of books as the ideal means to children’s intellectual and social development, in line with its firm belief in the positive impact of books on building future knowledge-based generations. Kalimat Foundation facilitates the provision of public libraries and refugee camps with books and gives children in disadvantaged areas access to knowledge.