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Audio library promotes classical Arab literature in schools and radio stations in Palestine

18-09-2006 (Ramallah)
Audio library promotes classical Arab literature in schools and radio stations in Palestine
Rami Lafi
© Birzeit University
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.” The timeless thoughts of Kahlil Gibran will be among the finest excerpts of Arabic literature and poetry launched in audio book format for radio listeners and schools in Palestine.
A literary audio library providing 100 hours of excerpts of Arabic literature and poetry has been launched for radio listeners, blind and illiterate persons and educational use in the schools throughout West Bank and Gaza in Palestine.

The project which has been implemented by Birzeit University Media Institute BZUMI and funded by UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) with the generous support of Finland and UK, is promoting literature in the form of audio books and enhancing cultural and educational programs in Palestinian radio stations.

Recorded books include classical and contemporary literature from the region such as “The Days”, the autobiography of Taha Hussein, one of the most famous Arab prose writer in the 20th century, “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran and “Al Nazarat”, the collection of articles and stories by Mustafa Lutfi Al Manfaluti.

Audio format is especially suitable for reciting and performance of old and new poetry that has always been an important feature of the Arabic literature. Several admired and popular poets from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Maghreb, Palestine and Syria have been included in the audio library in professionally produced digital MP3 audio format.

“All these works constitute a considerable body of the liberal and humanitarian heritage of Arabic literature and will enhance the atmosphere of freedom and open-mindedness in the Arab World that is now suffering a lack of such culture”, Aref Hijjawi former director of BZUMI and initiator of the project says.

BZUMI’s radio production center has been putting a lot of effort to revitalize the tradition of reciting and skillful reading, assigning writers and selecting radio presenters to ensure high quality recordings of literature.

“A reading-listening tradition, both for the public and for radio listeners, will be started at a time when various indicators show that the Arab World is reading less and less books. This is an incentive to go back to reading rather than a substitute of the ordinary silent reading”, Aref Hijjawi explains.

The project has got an enthusiastic response. In West Bank and Gaza, 21 local radio stations will broadcast radio editions of audio library as part of their regular programming. Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education will distribute the audio literature material that has been recorded for the Palestinian curricula (Arabic language classes 6-11) to be used by the schools in the educational process. In addition, nine schools for blind persons will receive a kernel of audio library.
Related themes/countries

      · News Archives: 2006
      · Content Development: News Archives 2006
      · Palestinian Authority: News Archives 2006
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