IRD opened the first public library in Zaatari camp last Sunday, the 25th of August. The library consists of a caravan filled with shelves of books and a big nearby tent with a seating area for those who want to read. The books include many genres for different ages. Books range from history, novels, scientific encyclopedias, to children’s books and educational books for different ages, consisting 30% of the available books. Moreover, there are books targeting women’s interests, in addition to many other different topics.
A committee consisting of Syrians living in the camp volunteered to design the shelves in the library and construct them inside the caravan. They also joined the opening ceremony that was attended by people from the camp as well as humanitarian employees in the camp including some special guests. One member of the committee called Adham Hariri recited a poem that he wrote talking about the importance of reading and the significance of opening this library in the camp. After which a 5 year old girl named Ro’a sang a song called “Children of the World” in both Arabic and Italian, then a song called “I Will Write my Country’s Name” accompanied by an Oud player from the camp’s residents called Abu Ayman.
The library was funded by IRD, while some books were donated by NRC (Norwegian Refugee Council) and Action Aid. The library will be expanded in the near future with another caravan and a wider selection of books.