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Re: [InetBib] WG: [IFLA-L] Burning the Egyptian Scientific Institute

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen,

inzwischen hat IFLA/FAIFE zu dem furchtbaren Bibliotheksbrand in Kairo 
über IFLA-List folgende Mitteilung gemacht:

Dear Colleagues

Recent postings on IFLA-L have shown that many of us are increasingly 
concerned about the situation of libraries in Egypt and other 
countries in the Middle East, particularly since the burning of the 
Egyptian Scientific Institute of Cairo on December 17^th .  The FAIFE 
committee shares these concerns and wishes to publicly state its 
support for all Egyptian libraries, librarians and library users 
during this time of tension, and reaffirm the principles of free 
access to information and freedom of expression that are core values 
of the librarians worldwide. The committee would ask the Egyptian 
authorities and, more broadly, the Egyptian people to protect 
libraries from any damage and to create the conditions for librarians 
to help serve their users who now, more than ever, need access to both 
contemporary information and cultural heritage.

FAIFE has paid particular attention to the experiences of librarians 
in the Middle East in the past twelve months. A Spotlight by our 
Egyptian colleague Mahmoud Khalifa, focused on the use of information 
during the Arab Spring 
Former FAIFE Committee member Shawky Salem shared his diary of the 18 
days that proceeded the fall of the Mubarak government 
Both Shawky Salem and the Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Dr. 
Ismail Serageldin, spoke at the FAIFE session at the WLIC in Puerto 
Rico where their presentations were very well received. Dr. Serageldin 
himself made a statement on the IFLA website (where you can also find 
other news links regarding Egypt: 
Furthermore, IFLA, in its role as a member of the International 
Committee of the Blue Shield, spoke out against the destruction of 
cultural institutions such as libraries through statements on both 
Egypt (http://www.ifla.org/en/news/blue-shield-statement-on-egypt) and 
Libya (http://www.ifla.org/en/news/blue-shield-statement-on-libya). At 
present IFLA, along with other Blue Shield members such as the 
International Council on Archives (ICA) and the international Council 
of Museums (ICOM), and UNESCO, is participating in discussions 
regarding the safeguarding of cultural heritage in Yemen and Syria. We 
work as hard as we can with our partners on these issues to share 
resources, information and expertise.

Nevertheless, if the sad events of December 17^th  tell us anything, 
it is that cultural disasters that involve libraries, whether they are 
pre-mediated or accidental, are sadly still common, and that 
institutions can often become victims of societal unrest quite out of 
the blue. We are now working with our colleagues in the Blue Shield, 
along with the staff of our regional office in the Bibliotheca 
Alexandrina, to gather more information on the unfolding situation, 
and will endeavour to report back to IFLA-L when we have a better idea 
of the extent of the damage at the Egyptian Scientific Institute and 
other institutions caught up in the turmoil. In the meantime, I refer 
you to Danielle Mincio from the Preservation and Conservation's 
excellent post on the situation which was previously sent to the 
IFLA-L list.

Yours Sincerely,
Kai Ekholm, FAIFE Chair

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Hermann Rösch

Prof. Dr. Hermann Rösch

Institut für Informationswissenschaft / Institute for Information Science
Fachhochschule Köln / Cologne University of Applied Sciences
Claudiusstr. 1 / Zimmer 424

Gustsav-Heinemann-Ufer 54
50678 Köln / Cologne Germany

Tel.:    +49-(0)221 - 8275-3378
Fax:     +49-(0)221 - 3318583
E-Mail:  Hermann.Roesch@xxxxxxxxxxx
URL:     http://www.fbi.fh-koeln.de/institut/personen/roesch/roesch.php


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