Bibliotheca Alexandrina

AEAS Friends of the BA

The first practical step in AEAS's promotion of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) was in October 2001, when AEAS donated close to $12,000. This amount was the result of some fund raising effort within AEAS by Dr. Farouk El Baz. In addition to direct financial contributions, some AEAS members donated several books to the BA.

The AEAS's annual conference of 2002 was held in the BA premises in December of that year. The facilities provided by BA management, in addition to their hospitality augmented the meeting's success.

In July 2003, the AEAS board joined, as the AEAS Friends, the International Friends of BA. Mr. Abdelwahab Elabd was appointed by the AEAS Board a coordinator, with a mandate to coordinate efforts related to the on-going relationship between AEAS and the BA.

Aiming for an Active Relationship

The AEAS Friends focus on the following activities as a means to promote mutual ties and interests in between both institutions:

  • An Internship program, for which young scholars in the US can apply.
  • A training program for BA staff to enjoy the benefits of traineeships offered by American institutions.
  • The Book Drive: to collect books from donors for the benefit of BA.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina

The new Library of Alexandria "Bibliotheca Alexandrina", inaugurated in October 16, 2003, is a magnificent piece of 21st-century architecture intended to hold eight million books. The Library complex includes the Main Library, Young people's Library, Library for the Blind, Planetarium, Science Museum, Calligraphy Museum, Alexandrina Archeological Museum, Conservation and Reformation Laboratory, Conference Center of Alexandria, multi-purpose study rooms and exhibition areas.

The ancient library of Alexandria was founded in the early 3rd century BC and acclaimed as the greatest of all classical institutions of the ancient world on this same spot which included:

  • all the knowledge of the world was gathered in over 700,000 scrolls
  • was the destination for all the scholars of the ancient world
  • the basis of engineering, astronomy, mathematics, geography, and library science were developed
  • the Old Testament was translated for the first time from Hebrew to Greek
  • was the meeting place for civilizations, cultures, and sciences

The cost of building this new library amount to $220 million, of which $100 million came from foreign donations and the remainder from the Egyptian government. H.E. Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, Sponsor and Chair of the Board of Trustees, described it with the following quotation:
"The new Bibliotheca Alexandrina, like its ancient model, will be more than just a traditional library ... first of all, we want the Library to be Egypt's window on the world. It should open to the Egyptians, the scientific, literary and artistic marvels of the Mediterranean cultures, as well as those of the rest of the world. We also want it to be the window of the world onto our own Egyptian culture and civilization --- the longest continuous civilization on earth - with its Pharaonic, Graeco-Roman, Judeao-Christian, Coptic and Arab-Islamic heritage, and its present day realities... One of our principal goals is to make the Bibliotheca Alexandrina a center of intellectual ferment -- as much a place for discussion and lively debate over original and imaginative ideas, as for careful scholarship and scientific analyses. We shall also strive to make it a meeting place for cultures and a forum for enlightened dialogue between civilizations, in order to help promote peace, tolerance, respect for differences, and appreciation and protection of cultural diversity within our globalize world."

International Friends Privileges

  • The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) will provide an office and the use of the facilities free of charge to researchers from the friends associations.
  • A members' room in the BA.
  • Special programs of lectures and events in the BA.
  • The right to a readers’ pass to the BA.
  • Invitations to special private viewing of the BA exhibitions.
  • Priority booking for the BA cultural events.
  • Occasional special offers from the BA.
  • A regular newsletter subscription.
  • Publishing article in the BA newsletter.
  • Information about BA Friends around the world.

Newsletter - International Friends of the BA