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Dubai Crown Prince Launches World's Largest Arabic Audio Library

Dubai Crown Prince Launches World's Largest Arabic Audio Library

Friday, 7 December, 2018 - 09:15
Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan - AAWSAT AR
Dubai - Asharq Al-Awsat
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, inaugurated the largest Arabic audio library in the world, the Dubai Audio Library, which targets seven million visually impaired people in the Arab world.

The library is an initiative undertaken by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in collaboration with the website and was launched on International Volunteers Day.

Sheikh Hamdan marked the launch by uploading the first book to the Dubai Audio Library, Zayed Diwan, a collection of 87 poems written by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, paying tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The Dubai Audio Library supports the Day for Dubai initiative, which seeks to instill a culture of volunteering in the community by dedicating at least a day a year for volunteering activities. The library is part of RTA’s efforts to support People of Determination by spreading a culture of reading among them, and integrating them into the community.

The RTA is seeking to provide 300,000 books in Arabic. More than 10,000 volunteers will convert Arabic books into digital format using OCR scanners and edit them before uploading them to the website.

The library is a volunteering platform for supporting seven million visually-challenged Arabs. The Bookshare website has 600,000 books in English, but only 300 Arabic books. RTA is seeking to increase the number of Arabic audio books on the website to 300,000.

To achieve this, RTA will collaborate with various organisations including Arab publishing houses and get their consent for uploading Arabic books to the website for the benefit of visually impaired people.

Volunteers can contribute to the initiative in two ways. The first is scanning pages of books and uploading them. The second is proof-reading books in their digital format before uploading them.

Selected books will be on the topics of positive ideas, confidence building, determination in coping with life challenges, and enhancing imagination.

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