khaleejtimes (source) :
China has launched ‘The Books’ – the largest website of Arabic e-books – which contains more than 10,000 ‘official’ titles, during the ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).
The Chinese government chose the emirate Sharjah as a platform to launch the website, because it is the capital of Arabic culture.
Speaking to Khaleej Times in fluent Arabic, Chi Yang said that the website has been funded and launched by the Chinese government as part of its cultural project which focuses to open up to other civilizations and contribute in preserving their heritage.
“The website and its preparation began almost a year ago. It is considered to be the largest website producing serious electronic Arabic books without seeking any material profit,” she pointed out.
Yang said that the website also aimed at promoting the books in a global format. As many as 10,000 books have been obtained from distinguished Arab publishing houses, such as Dar Al Saqi, the Digital Future of Lebanon, Farabi and the Arab Cultural Center.
“The Arab publishers have been helpful and are showing a keen interest in the website. They have supported the government by providing prominent books in Arabic literature,” she added.
Yang pointed out that the website has won an award from the Chinese government. She noted that the development in e-book has helped such books to reach out to more and more audience. The books have been made easily available and free to scholars, researchers and readers.
“Due to the tremendous revolution in information and technology, the e-book will take roots and spread far and wide. However, the inherent value of a paper book can never be downplayed,” she underlined.
She pointed out that a large number of elite intellectuals who know Arabic as a second language in China would attach great importance to the Arab and Islamic civilization through this site. They would benefit greatly from its contents, which include books ranging from law, philosophy, literature, heritage, history, arts and humanities to medicine, health, economics, trade and politics. It also has award-winning publications. “The website is a library in everyone’s pocket,” she remarked. email@example.com