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Tuesday, June 28

Modern But...

The Asad Library became the National Library of Syria, replacing al-Zahiriyah Library, it opened in 1984 containing all books and periodicals published in Syria in addition to broad collections in all fields. The library also includes all manuscripts and rare books and periodicals previously held at al-Zahiriyya. The Asad Library has special departments devoted to music, fine arts, film and old periodicals and has reading rooms with reference materials in history, literature and sciences. Complete collections of newspapers, including the contemporary dailies are available. There are facilities for photocopying and microfilming, but copying manuscripts and entire books requires special permission. The library is now used mostly by high school and collage students.

Middle East Studies Association Bulletin

I wont talk about the long time I wasted there just waiting for the books I’ve ordered to get it, or the process of waiting for photocopying few pages which is very time consuming, neither I’ll give my own opinion about it, ( not to be my last post here!), but I’ll highlight two points of view I once read them on Oz’s Blog which I found very convincing.

Catherine: “Look for example at Al-Assad Library, sure it looks modern, but it looks like a big box!!!!Where is the beauty in that? Doesn't the library of Damascus in such a central place deserves to be more Damascene? Beautiful? in an eastern still?"

Ayman: “I do agree with Catherine and her using Al-Assad National Library as an example. The NATIONAL Library of a city that has always been known as a major centre of Arab culture should have had Arabic and Islamic architectural influences in its design. The Library and the Opera House, both of which are important symbols of cultural life, actually look more like military bunkers. Most buildings in modern Damascus are no different; they follow an architectural style that has no identity.”


  • Yay I became famous! :)

    By Blogger Ayman, at 30/6/05 1:04 AM  

  • Ayman, u r always famous;p

    By Blogger Ghalia, at 30/6/05 1:59 AM  

  • Hehehehe. Cute... Yes, I think you're a popular one Ayman. hahaha.. Keep the good work :P

    By Blogger Stellar, at 30/6/05 2:42 PM  

  • I agree with you guys :)it looks modern but has nothin to do with beauty :P

    By Blogger M!R@CHK@, at 1/7/05 9:31 PM  

  • there is omething that most of you guys don't know:
    the new buildings in Damascus look too old because most of them was designed during the 60's and the 70's but many of these building were finished only two or three years ago, and some them is not finished yet!
    a very good example is the Opera building wich i was a 2 years old kid when they started working on it, they fishined the construction only few yers ago, and the Yalbugha compund; the construction started in the 70's and it not finished yet!!!

    By Blogger Amr Faham, at 3/7/05 11:11 PM  

  • I agree with the opinion of Zaha Hadid - one of the world best architects - she does not design islamic architecture because it belongs to a past era. I think you guys also expect too much from a country with limited resources and imposed sanctions.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/7/05 7:59 PM  

  • What's wrong with the library? I like it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/7/05 1:08 PM  

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