12.10.2011 - UNESCO

New collection of classical Arabic literature available on UNESCO Digital Library Majaliss

Cover of the 5th Volume of the offline Majaliss - © UNESCO

UNESCO’s Rabat Office launches the fifth Volume of the Digital Library of classical Arabic literature Majaliss. Accessible through Internet and on CD-ROM, Majaliss offers free access to hundreds of books in the public domain, thus enhancing access and preservation of cultural heritage in the Arab world.

The Arabic word ‘Majaliss’ means ‘a place of sitting’, used to describe various types of formal legislative assemblies in Islamic countries. It is also a common term used for a meeting, dialogue or exchange. UNESCO Digital Library Majaliss offers a modern platform for sharing classical works of Arabic literature.

The project Majaliss aims at ensuring the availability of classical works of Arabic literature to a large public in an easily accessible digital format and addresses the short-term needs for reading, editing and printing Arabic texts. In long term Majaliss seeks to contribute to enhance the capacities of national and regional organizations in the area of preservation of documentary heritage.

The offline version of Majaliss is available through a series of five CD-ROMs. Each CD-ROM corresponds to a collection of digitised books and contains an ICT-application for enhancing reading and writing. The fifth Volume of Majaliss comprises 40 digitised Arabic classical books on the role of Arab women and their participation in societies throughout the history. It also contains an audio library comprising 15 downloadable audio books red by professional actors.

Majaliss is a result of cooperation between experts and academics in Arabic literature, IT engineers and local associations. It is sponsored by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). Everyday the Digital Library Majaliss is enriched with new digitised collections. UNESCO invites all stakeholders interested in the project, as well as those wishing to use and to test Majaliss in educational programmes, to contact its Office in Rabat.

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