It is said that if one ever encounters another person who is in possession of a rare intellect, they should be asked what books they read. However with a collection of more than 40,000 books in one’s personal library, Zaki Nusseibeh, a great influence to the Emirati culture for almost half a century, would have a hard time answering as to the books he reads. Zaki Nusseibeh’s library is considered as one of the largest libraries in the entire Middle East region. Zaki has been developing the library over the years, while he collected around 40,000 books which have been split up between his house in Al Ain, and his home in Abu Dhabi. Nusseibeh was classified as the finest man in all of Al Ain.
Zaki Nusseibeh, who is the current cultural Advisor for the Government of Abu Dhabi had moved to the UAE from Jerusalem in 1967 with a very small collection of books. In those days, buying books anywhere in the Gulf region was a difficult task, however Nusseibeh did not let his location hold him back and he was not hindered in growing his library since day one. On foreign trips, he used to collect books regularly and continuously on any and all topics which might be relevant to him. He would also plead to his friends to being him books or to send them to him. Now Zaki Nusseibeh even has a library in his house in London in the United Kingdom. He says that wherever he moves, he must have a small library with him.
In addition to his immense passion for reading and literature, Zaki Nusseibeh was the cultural minister as well as the translator for the Late President of the United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and this responsibility further motivated him to read a large number of books. Nusseibeh has stated that the books that he read were in various languages such as German, English, French and Russian however books in the Arabic language were the easiest for him. Nusseibeh was also an advisor for the International Arab Prize for Fiction as well as a member of the Council of Administration at the Paris Sorbonne University located in Abu Dhabi however has never written his own manuscript.
Zaki Nusseibeh stated that he has even developed a computer program to aid him in the cataloging of his book collection, just like is done in all public libraries. He added that he wants to make his entire collection available to the public or to donate all of them to a university based in the United Arab Emirates. He also stated that he is trying to gather all of the books which someone can learn from in every possible category
Nusseibeh, who is a pretty evident book enthusiast, says he encourages all of the parents to take out the time to actually educate their children and to develop their habit of reading, because reading is the key to the future.
Source: Al Arabiya
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