As part of the private sector support for cultural development and heritage conservation projects, BBK- Bahrain pioneer in retail and commercial banking- is sponsoring the re-building and renovation of the Khalifiya Library in Muharraq, as part of the programme of “Manama, the Capital of Arab Culture 2012”. Contributing BD420,000 to this important re-building project in the heart of old Muharraq, the Khalifiya Library will be restored as a public library for local residents.
One of the first public libraries in Bahrain, it was established by the royal family in the 1950s. Although an important urban structure and gathering place for residents in the historical centre of Muharraq, urban development of the surrounding area in the 1980s altered both the neighbouring buildings and destroyed part of the library building. With the help of BBK however, the library re-construction will take place as part of the overall re-development of the entire area. The re-structured Khalifiya Library building will be approximately 400m2 in size and shall include a reading room, storage area, prayer rooms and office space.
'These projects represent an integral component of the diverse programme of the Capital of Arab Culture this year,' explained HE Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, the Minister of Culture. 'By bringing one of the country's first public libraries back to life, BBK's support will help revitalise an important area in Muharraq, both physically and intellectually.'
Commenting on the development project, Chief Executive of BBK, Abdulkarim Bucheery, said, 'We are very pleased to be supporting the Muharraq community and aiding a Bahrain heritage project. We hope that the new construction will, alongside the locality's redevelopment, restore some of the original social fabric of the traditionally inter-connected community and promote a dynamic public discourse.'
Undertaken by the Arab League under the auspices of the UNESCO Cultural Capitals Programme, every year a different Arab capital is awarded the opportunity to engage in a cultural dialogue with local and regional audiences. Manama was elected as the Capital of Arab Culture in a meeting of Arab ministers of culture in 2004. The Bahrain Ministry of Culture has developed an innovative agenda for the year, which seeks to invite Arabs to discover the cultures, heritages and identities of different parts of the Arab world. The year-long programme for Manama, the Capital of Arab Culture 2012 is broken up into 12 different cultural themes according to the months of the year and is designed to foster an environment of multi-disciplinary learning with an appeal to all sectors of society.
Further information can be obtained at www.manamaculture2012.bh