• Non-Fiction
  • Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books

Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books

Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books

What would you do to protect the books you love? Thousands of Egypt’s students, library workers, and demonstrators surrounded the great Library of Alexandria and joined hands, standing strong.

During the January 25, 2011 Revolution in Egypt, the librarian of the Alexandria Library stands on the steps of the library and begs the protestors not to damage the library in their anger against the government.  One young man breaks from the crowd to hold the director’s hand, and then another, until a human chain surrounds the library, shielding it from the crowd’s unrest.  The author has a personal connection to this library and uses first-hand accounts.  The collages show how interconnected all people are, regardless of age, gender, politics, and culture, and how the great unifier is the library.

32 pages

ISBN: 978-0803737471

Recommended by Alice L. Cyphers, Librarian and Reading Specialist, Pennsylvania, USA


Books.  Libraries.  Just how much do they matter to you? Just how much are they a part of your world?  Travel in your mind for a moment all the way to Cairo, Egypt and then on to another Egyptian city called Alexandria.  If you look around you, you'll see people demonstrating. They are angry and they are raising their voices in protest against their government.  There are thousands of people who want to be free.    In the middle of this surging city is the library with all of its centuries old treasures.  What if the protesters let their emotions overwhelm them and they storm the library and destroy all it holds?  Its doors are glass and easily shattered.

 What would you do?  Would those books matter to you?  History was made on this day as courageous, caring Egyptians linked hands and encircled their library to keep it safe.

This is a moving example of courage in our own times.  This is a wonderful story about the value of books and learning and library.

Recommended by:  Barb

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