Feature

Overcoming Poverty, Youth Open First Self-Funded Library in Upper Egypt

Overcoming Poverty, Youth Open First Self-Funded Library in Upper Egypt

8-1-15-768x430

By Nada Deyaa’

Far away from the modernity of Cairo, in a small village located named Al-Ma’abda in the Assiut governorate, residents suffer from a lack of healthcare services and quality education. The village, located two hours away from the center of Assiut, is considered one of the poorest in the area. With a population of 100,000 and only one secondary school, a lack of access to knowledge is a fact of life for most residents.

As most parents are concerned with the struggle to provide their families with the essentials – edible food and potable water – the idea of developing cultural knowledge or nurturing talent is passed over by many families in Al-Ma’abda. However, while most are labouring to improve their standard of living, a group of young men decided to build the first library in the village to compensate for the role of insufficient schooling in the area.

“We believe we are forgotten and neglected by the government,” said Ayman Attia, founder of the library. “So we must either fight to teach ourselves or else surrender to darkness and ignorance.”

The library aims to provide young people with educational books for their studies as well as novels to enrich their imagination and cultural awareness. “None of the schools in the village have a library; if a student needs further information or to do research, he would have to travel for two hours in order to reach to the nearest library in Assiut,” Attia explained.

When Attia and his friends first told people about their idea, they were surprised by the amount of support they received: “As much as our village needs financial support, we also need to acquire knowledge.”

Even though they started out with no money, the support and volunteering offered by the villagers more than made up for any funding they might have needed.

“We were surprised to find workers volunteering to decorate the library, all for free,” Attia recalls with a smile.

“This place is as holy as a mosque, we do our work in it for free,” one of the volunteering workers told him.

Some parents volunteered old books, others donated money, and others still took responsibility for providing lunch for the workers decorating the library. Within two months, the library was ready to welcome readers, with 2,000 books covering many different fields of interest.

“Most of the visitors are between the ages of six and 18,” said Attiya. “The children choose illustrated books, while older people choose books about religion and human development.”

There is a huge influx of readers to the library daily, which indicates to Attiya  that people needed an opportunity to enable them to be well educated and culturally aware.

“We hope to have 10,000 books by the end of this year in order to encourage even more people to read,” he concluded.

Egypt Court Sentences Toddler to Prison in Another Case of Mistaken Identity
Sisi Calls for National Unity, Urges Egyptians to Listen to Him 'Only'

Subscribe to our newsletter


Feature
@DailyNewsEgypt

Daily News Egypt is a completely independent news provider for Egypt and the wider MENA region.

More in Feature

01ea6fda4ec705de1f0d8307df4aad284af86e9fad1a6e2ae0a0f14630297bf5

Meet the Company Redefining Egypt’s Health Insurance Market

Enas El MasryDecember 4, 2016
13920532_1736726203248967_2577116043429050990_o

Making #HerStory Matter: Promoting Gender Equality on Arabic Wikipedia

Egyptian StreetsNovember 27, 2016
ahmed saied

‘We Made Chess Out of Soap’: Exclusive Interview with Released Political Prisoner Ahmed Saied

Aya NaderNovember 23, 2016
Students watch a movie being projected in the playground

The Oromo in Egypt: Why Have 11,000 Ethiopians Fled Their Homeland?

Nada NaderNovember 15, 2016
Trump at an early campaign event in New Hampshire on June 16, 2015. Photo by Michael Vadon

Egyptian Expats Weigh in on Trump Victory, Express Fear of Rhetoric

Aswat MasriyaNovember 12, 2016
An employee counts money at an exchange office in downtown Cairo
Credit: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/ Reuters

Timeline: The Egyptian Pound Over the Last Five Decades

Aswat MasriyaNovember 3, 2016
Photo courtesy of Blue Ocean PR

The Four Pillars of Happiness: Egyptian Lifestyle Consultant Discusses Wellness

Salma El SaeedNovember 2, 2016
pablo-breast-cancer

How You Can Help the 45,000 Egyptian Women Diagnosed With Breast Cancer Each Year

Egyptian StreetsOctober 31, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.