This is the English description of the Arabic libraries project. If you would prefer to read this in Arabic, please click here.
MULOSIGE is working closely with the Council of Islington and different community centres and charities in a project to make London libraries more multilingual. The scope of this collaborative project is not only to celebrate multilingualism in its various forms, but also to increase Londoners’ knowledge of and accessibility to literatures from the Global South, and in languages other than English. One of the accomplishments of this project has been the building of an Arabic book collection at N4 library, in Finsbury Park. The books in the collection are from different parts of the vast Arabic-speaking region and include novels, children’s literature, short stories, essays, poetry.
While we tend to think of research as the primary activity influencing society, the engagement with the public is a remarkably valuable source of insight for researchers. This project is the perfect example of the bidirectionality that governs the relationship between scholars and non-scholars. The selection of the books that make up the Arabic collection at N4, in fact, was made following the feedback of the Arabic-speaking people in the borough, who filled in a survey about their literary taste and interests. Thus this is a project not only for the communities, but by them! The project was also made possible thanks to the inestimable work of the personnel at Dar al-Hikma, an Arabic bookshop and publishing house located in central London.
The collaborative project continues and we will soon be announcing the next events, which we are discussing with the community centres and charities at the moment. In the meantime, please have a look at the storytelling performance and workshop entitled No Beginning, No End, held at N4 in mid-November as part of the nation-wide festival of the humanities Being Human, and please listen to the podcast, which includes reflections on the research undertaken by MULOSIGE as well as excerpts from the No Beginning, No End event.
We would love to hear about your suggestions! If you would like to fill in and submit the Arabic survey on your literary interests, please click here. If you would like to propose any activities, partnership or any other suggestions feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org