Project to save manuscripts of Al Azhar Library

DUBAI — By the beginning of next week, the Islamic world will celebrate the launch of a new project initiated by General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defence, to save and access historic, unique manuscripts of the Al Azhar Library, the world’s oldest library in the world located in Cairo at a recently launched web site. General Shaikh Mohammed has allocated $5 million for the grand project.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 21 May 2005, 10:41 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:28 PM

Around 42,000 manuscripts of varying sizes and 128,000 books that have been stored in the library for over 1,100 years will be restored in the first-of-its-kind project to save and maintain heritage manuscripts on the Internet. The manuscripts are considered a very valuable possession in the Islamic world and a living part of Islamic history.

General Shaikh Mohammed stressed on the need to maintain and preserve the precious history of Islam while making it easily accessible for those interested in acquiring knowledge in the field of manuscripts, not only in the Arab world, but throughout the world. The project was implemented by General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Project for Technology and Information Education.

The Al Azhar Library comprises various valuable manuscripts that were prepared thousands of years ago, including a 50cm long and 35cm wide Holy Quran that was prepared 300 years ago in 60 days.

The Holy Quran is decorated with golden lines and features the meaning of words in the text and how to recite its verses. The front pages of the Holy Quran include crucial information, including on Quran Science and the reasons of collecting the Surahs.

The digitisation of the Al Azhar manuscripts will help in saving them from quality and content deterioration due to their excessive usage by Al Azhar researchers and students. The IBM has implemented one of the most advanced techniques to preserve the manuscripts.


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