Qatar National Library organized a seminar entitled “The Role of Public and Private Libraries in Preserving Islamic Cultural Heritage”, in cooperation with the “Ministry of Culture and Sports, as part of the activities of Doha Capital of Islamic Culture 2021.
The symposium shed light on the role of libraries in preserving Islamic cultural heritage and the importance of preserving it. Throughout the golden ages of Arab and Islamic civilization, public libraries embodied one of the most prominent features of the scientific renaissance among Arabs and Muslims, and bookcases spread throughout the Islamic world.
Our Islamic history knew long ages in which it expanded the area of knowledge and authorship in all arts and fields, and the great libraries used to attract travelers from all countries of the world due to their famous reputation.
In his opening speech during the symposium, H.E Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, President of Qatar National Library, said that the library makes effective contributions to the activities of Doha, the capital of culture in the Islamic world. It is one of the fortresses of cultural heritage thanks to the heritage library that is rich in rare manuscripts and maps that provide beneficiaries with extensive heritage knowledge of Qatari history in particular.
He explained that the library gives the cultural heritage its distinguished position, and the library has gone beyond the traditional role in preserving heritage, through its adoption of advanced technological methods, and its use of digital media in digitizing Islamic manuscripts from various libraries of the world.
He added that Qatar National Library believes in preserving the Arab and Islamic heritage, as it is the most important pillar in its mission, and it worked to achieve this by building bridges of communication with libraries, archives and international cultural institutions in order to obtain a digital copy of documents, manuscripts and literature books that represent the intellectual and scientific output of Arab and Islamic civilization in its golden age, and then these digital copies were published in the Qatar Digital Library portal, which resulted in the long and constructive partnership with British Library and Qatar Foundation.
For his part, Dr. Muhammad Zain al-Abidin, Head of the Culture and Communication Sector at ISICO, said that since the Abbasid Caliph al-Ma’mun established the House of Wisdom in the third century AH, the public libraries have remained a place for preserving the heritage of all kinds. These libraries have preserved a large number of this Islamic cultural wealth.
He pointed out that despite the difficulties; our societies have become aware of its roots and origins and aware of its culture identity. He mentioned that the role of ISICO as a global Islamic organization lies in developing tight policies to benefit from these great treasures, highlighting their cultural and civilizational role.