The TEDxSana’a Book Club has established a small but vibrant book community in Yemen’s largest city, as reported in the Yemen Times this week. Now they’re looking to expand even more:
After that, things snowballed. Co-founder Dr. Mazen al-Hebshi said, in an email conversation, that the group began reading a number of books together, in English and Arabic, and discussing them both on the group’s Facebook page and in small biweekly meetings.
The group also does “joint readings and discussions with other book clubs,” such as the Insan Group,” al-Hebshi said. And people from other Yemeni cities — such as Aden, Taiz, and Thamar — have attended the Sana’a book group and gone back to develop their own clubs.
Now, al-Hebshi said, they are interested in starting up a library, free and accessible to the public.
Currently in Sana’a, al-Hebshi said, he thinks there are just two public libraries — one attached to Sana’a University, which loans to students, making it not fully public. Another is attached to a cultural centre. “There is supposed to be another public library under construction,” he said, “but it didn’t finish yet.” According to al-Hebshi, it’s been under construction for three years.
They have a space — the TEDxSana’a office space, where book-club meetings and other events are held — and a number of books have been donated, but they still need to design the protocols.
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