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UNESCO Digital Library Majaliss opens up classical Arabic literature to public

14-09-2009 (Rabat)
UNESCO Digital Library Majaliss opens up classical Arabic literature to public
The Arabic word ‘Majaliss’ means ‘a place of sitting’ used to describe various types of formal legislative assemblies in Islamic countries; it is also a common term used for a meeting, dialogue or exchange. UNESCO’s Digital Library Majaliss offers a modern platform for sharing digitised books of classical Arabic literature among a large and diverse public.
The cultural heritage of the Maghreb countries is very rich and classical works of Arabic literature are important elements of it. Unfortunately, many of those works are produced in the format that is not accessible to a large audience. UNESCO has launched the Majaliss project to provide free access to hundreds of thousands of pages of classical Arabic literature and to demonstrate, at the same time, the innovative use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for reading, teaching and learning.

The Majaliss project is a result of regional cooperation between experts in Arabic literature, local associations and engineering schools. It is sponsored by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).

The Digital Library Majaliss exists in two versions: an online platform, accessible from UNESCO’s Rabat Office website, and an offline edition, distributed on CD-ROMs entirely in Arabic. Three different CD-ROMs, corresponding to three separate collections of books, are currently available. Each CD-ROM contains a number of digitised quality books, together with an ICT application that facilitates reading, teaching and learning. For example, Volume II of Majaliss contains books from the Maghreb region, accompanied by corresponding audio files that can be used by teachers and students to enhance literacy, as well as by blind and visually impaired people to read books. Volume III focuses on interactive exercises that help learn how to read and write.

Everyday the Digital Library Majaliss is enriched with new digitised collections and new technology. UNESCO invites all interested holders of digitised books, as well as those wishing to use and to test Majaliss in educational programmes, to contact its Office in Rabat.
Related themes/countries

      · Arab States
      · Libraries
      · Access to Information
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