Tenth Anniversary

Activities, Special events and Memories
On the occasion of our tenth anniversary

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Founded in March 1998, Arab World Books is the first Arab cultural online club. Our website is entirely staffed by volunteers and is dedicated to enhance understanding between different cultures, an area which is surprisingly deficient despite the unprecedented advances in communications. We believe that literature, and art in general, is the best conduit for such understanding in a manner that goes beyond traditional stereotypes. Our active members exceed 14500 from all over the world. They include Arabs, people of Arab origin living in other countries, as well as foreigners interested in Arab culture who find in the internet a golden opportunity to see our region for the first time through Arab eyes and interact with its people. Moreover, the site receives an average of 3291 new visitors daily who surf 10756 files. Total visits to our site thus top over 400,000 visitors per month.
The club offers services to writers, publishers and readers and makes use of the WWW’s vast potential to open a window through which the world can look upon Arab thought and learn about its thinkers, artists and intellectuals.

We are most proud that over the years arabworldbooks.com is listed by many international organizations and educational institutes all over the world as a valuable resource for our region some of which are:

Cornell University, University of Columbia, Arizona State University, Western Michigan University, University of Pennsylvania Digital Library, the Arab American National Museum and Library, UNESCO, Monde Arabe, Nobel Prizes, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, PBS, Ahram Portal, Bloomsbury Publishing, The association of the Palestinian Community in the UK, the American Arab Forum, and National Association of British Arabs.

A selection of activities, special events and memories that portray the scope of our activities & members in the past ten years:

December 1998
Amani Amin attended the seminar on Islamic Perspectives on Human Rights, which took place at the UN headquarters in Geneva. An online discussion covering this special event launched the site's debate corner.

January 2000
Our reader’s club and writers workshop programs were launched.

March 2000
Our youngest member Selma, a Yemeni living in Switzerland was only two when she started her first library with "a story from each Arab country” written by the renowned children's literature writer Abdeltawwab Youssef. Youssef was the first author to join our authors’ home in April 1998.
Selma's mother wrote: "Selma is grateful for providing her with the opportunity to stay in contact with her Arab heritage"

September 2000
Special event that covered Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail's visit to Switzerland.

December 2000
We helped a member in Canada find an appropriate Arabic reading by Gibran for his son's wedding. We sent him the text he needed in time for the ceremony. Dr.Alzand of Canada wrote: "Thank you very much for your beautiful gift of lovely words and kind help. I am forwarding your thoughtful note to the prospective bride and groom along with the Marriage piece by Gibran in both languages."

July 2001
Following the second intifada, our Palestine File is born with the aim of providing an objective alternative to the mainstream media. Launching articles were written by Professor Tanya Reinhart, Eduardo Cohen, Israel Shamir, Charley Reese, Wael Fawzi, and Tariq Shadid.

November 2001
Special event "What is a just Peace?" A Round Table at Geneva University moderated by Professor Pierre Alan - with Yossi Beilin, Stanley Hoffman, Edward Said, David Little and Adam Roberts.

March 2002
- We assisted The Norwegian book club reach Arab authors to participate in the election of The Library of World Literature.
-Our special events section covered a Discussion in Washington DC with Karen Armstrong the best-selling author of "Muhammad" and "A History of God".
- The Gamal Abdel Nasser Poetry Campaign. We invited all Poets and lovers of Poetry to participate in a volume of Poetry to include poems related to the leader. This is part of a wider campaign undertaken by Dr. Hoda Abdel Nasser, daughter of the leader to collect all Documents of the 1952 Revolution.

January 2003
We assisted Clarity Press - a publisher in the US - contract with an Arabic Publisher for Professor Francis Boyle's book, Palestine, Palestinians and International Law.

February 2003
Focus on Iraq File launched with articles by Robert Fisk, Israel Shamir and Ali Abunimah.

September 2003
The website campaigned for the Support of Elizabeth Laird's award winning book “A Little Piece of Ground" published by McMillan Books.

January 2004
Amani Amin participated in a discussion panel at the Cairo Book Fair. She presented the online experience of Hatshepsut the woman Pharaoh, a book authored by Dr. Fawzia Assaad.

February 2004
Mr. Peter Ripken -Society for the Promotion of African, Asian and Latin American Literature, now a member, wrote these words in our guest book: "I am overwhelmed by the wealth of information on this site, especially for those who unfortunately do not read Arabic while being interested in Arab literature."

March 2005 - August 2006
We helped the Arabist Daniele Migliori to select stories to represent Palestinian Literature during the Second Intifada to be translated into Italian. We later published the fruit of this collaboration on our website in August 2006.

January 2006
Our board of trustees is formed. Distinguished members include Dr.Gaber Asfour, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Culture, H E Ambassador AbdelRaouf Alreedy former Egyptian ambassador to the US , the renowned novelists Bahaa Taher and Gamal Alghitany , Frances Boyle,professor of International Law, American author and human rights activist, Marilyn Booth, associate professor at the Program in Comparative and World Literature, University of Illinois (USA) and Richard Jacquemond, Associate Professor Department of Near Eastern studies, University of Provence (France).

October - November 2006
A special file is published to farewell the late Naguib Mahfouz and Amani Amin is invited to participate in the discussion on Naguib Mahfouz’s Palace Walk which was held by a Canberra based Book Group at the residence of Her Excellency Ms. Amira KAPETANOVIC the ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Australia.

The Year 2007
2007 marks a milestone in our history as we reach our tenth anniversary in March 2008
- In our readers club program- still one of our most successful - we featured twelve books with novels for Nemat Behairy, Tahir Wattar, Garcia Marquez and poetry for Iman Mersal and Khaled Mutawwa as well as a variety of books such as Ibrahim Haidary's Arabs and the Issue of Sex, Art Appreciation - from the classic to the Postmodern and Ratiba El-Hefni's Mohamed al-Qassabgi The Musician of Love. Among the prominent book discussions were comments received from Ikbal Baraka around her book "The Veil" and from Youssef Aburayya around his novel "The Lover" and Nawal Saadawi around her novel "The Novel".
- We welcomed fifty new writers and poets to our Authors'home.
- We managed to increase the number of stories, essays and reviews published in our literature corner and we doubled the number of announcements of our members' new publications.
- We added to our bookstore a section where you can buy books in French and another for Arabic Music.
- Arab World Books depends on volunteer work since its creation and we have started this year to be more active in this area with the aim of achieving a higher level of team work and commitment. New volunteers in all areas are always welcome.

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