The New Library of Alexandria [inaugurated in 2002], the New Bibliotheca Alexandrina is dedicated to recapture the spirit of openness and scholarship of the original Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Its mission is
to be a center of excellence for the production and dissemination of knowledge, and to be a place of dialogue and understanding between cultures and peoples.
It is our hope that the New Bibliotheca Alexandrina will be a worthy successor to the Ancient Library of Alexandria. That great Library was a unique ecumenical effort of the human intellect and imagination, and remains engraved in the memories of all scientists and intellectuals to this day.
The Ancient Library is undeniably the greatest chapter in the history of Alexandria. Our great city, founded by Alexander and home to Cleopatra, has had a remarkable history of 2300 years. It is a city of living history and renewed imagination that has inspired creative talents from Callimachus to Lawrence Durrell. In addition, the past is suddenly coming alive as underwater archaeology is bringing to light the sunken treasures of Alexandria, capturing the imagination of the world with glimpses of bygone glory.
That is the setting for the New Library of Alexandria. The beautiful new building, with its distinctive granite wall covered by the letters of all the world’s alphabets, is today a recognizable landmark of the new Alexandria.
Before we turn to the future, it is only fitting that we should salute all those whose vision and dreams launched this great enterprise more than quarter-of-a-century ago, from UNESCO to the architects and engineers, and contractors, from the management of the project to the workers who labored in the quarries, from the Associations of Friends of the Library all over the world to the eminent people who served on international commissions, from the generous Government donations to the many individual donations. All must be thanked for having brought us to this important achievement.
The four objectives of the New Bibliotheca Alexandrina are to be:
1. The window of the world on Egypt;
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Appendix B The Bibliotheca Alexandrina and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), for the Advancement of the Developing World BIBLIOTHECA ALEXANDRINA61 renewed imagination that has inspired creative talents from Callimachus to Lawrence Durrell. The New Library of Alexandria [inaugurated in In addition, the past is suddenly coming alive as 2002], the New Bibliotheca Alexandrina is underwater archaeology is bringing to light the dedicated to recapture the spirit of openness and sunken treasures of Alexandria, capturing the scholarship of the original Bibliotheca imagination of the world with glimpses of Alexandrina. Its mission is bygone glory. That is the setting for the New Library of to be a center of excellence for the Alexandria. The beautiful new building, with its production and dissemination of knowledge, distinctive granite wall covered by the letters of and to be a place of dialogue and all the world’s alphabets, is today a recognizable understanding between cultures and landmark of the new Alexandria. peoples. Before we turn to the future, it is only fitting that we should salute all those whose vision and It is our hope that the New Bibliotheca dreams launched this great enterprise more than Alexandrina will be a worthy successor to the quarter-of-a-century ago, from UNESCO to the Ancient Library of Alexandria. That great architects and engineers, and contractors, from Library was a unique ecumenical effort of the the management of the project to the workers human intellect and imagination, and remains who labored in the quarries, from the engraved in the memories of all scientists and Associations of Friends of the Library all over intellectuals to this day. the world to the eminent people who served on The Ancient Library is undeniably the international commissions, from the generous greatest chapter in the history of Alexandria. Government donations to the many individual Our great city, founded by Alexander and home donations. All must be thanked for having to Cleopatra, has had a remarkable history of brought us to this important achievement. 2300 years. It is a city of living history and The four objectives of the New Bibliotheca Alexandrina are to be: 61 This material is taken from the “Director’s Message” on the Library’s website (www.bibalex.org/aboutus/message 1. The window of the world on Egypt; _en.aspx. 105
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106 Appendix B 2. The window of Egypt on the world; worthy of bearing that great name. We hope it 3. An instrument for rising to the digital will indeed be “a source of pride for Egypt and challenge; the world”. 4. A center for dialogue between peoples and Ismail Serageldin civilizations; Librarian of Alexandria The way forward is difficult and challenging. The Library seeks to establish itself as an THE WORLD ACADEMY OF SCIENCES international center of excellence. In terms of (TWAS)62 our collections strategy, we focus on: First, the Ancient Library of Alexandria, Alexandria and TWAS is an autonomous international Egypt; Second, the Mediterranean, the Arab organization, founded in 1983 in Trieste, Italy, world (without duplicating other efforts by a distinguished group of scientists from the underway) and Africa, then the rest of the world. South under the leadership of the late Nobel In terms of thematic focus, the Bibliotheca laureate Abdus Salam of Pakistan. It was Alexandrina’s specialized centers and officially launched by the secretary-general of departments undertake a number of specific the United Nations in 1985. projects and activities which complement and TWAS represents the best of science in support one another in a coherent fashion. developing countries. Its main mission is to These projects all contribute to the BA’s mission. promote scientific excellence and capacity in the The means to move forward is partnering South for science-based sustainable with many eminent institutions of learning development. around the world, either in an ongoing manner The Academy's strength resides in the or around specific events such as seminars, quality and diversity of its membership -- conferences and exhibitions. Equally important internationally renowned scientists elected by to these links with eminent institutions are the their peers. TWAS Fellows, who live and work in links to the civil society in Egypt and the world. developing countries, represent 85 percent of the It is here that the 34 Associations of Friends of membership; TWAS Associate Fellows live and the Library have an invaluable role to play. work in developed countries. The current It is also challenging to link up electronically membership stands at 1073 [15 January 2013]. with the rest of world. We have already put A Council, elected every three years by together a complex web of agreements to bring TWAS members, is responsible for the the marvels of the digital age to all parts of Egypt Academy's broad policy and programmatic and the region, and to bring the fruits of directions. The Secretariat, headed by an Egyptian creativity and scholarship to the new executive director and located on the premises of digital world of instant communications and the Abdus Salam International Centre for electronic publishing. Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, assists the Supported by the Council of Patrons, guided by the Board of Trustees, and in constant touch with the Friends of the Library of Alexandria, in 62 The material is taken from the TWAS website Egypt and all over the world, the staff of the (http://twas.ictp.it/about/whats-twas). The new name of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina are moving forward to organization, formerly the Third World Academy of build, over the years to come, an institution Sciences and then briefly TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, was adopted in September 2012.
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Appendix B 107 Council in the administration and coordination InterAcademy Medical Panel). The Academy of the programmes. also maintains close ties with academies, In 1991, the United Nations Educational, research councils and ministries of science and Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) technology in developing countries. assumed responsibility for administering TWAS funds and personnel on the basis of an Objectives agreement signed by TWAS and UNESCO. In Recognize, support and promote excellence 2004, the Italian government passed a law that in scientific research in the developing ensures a continuous financial contribution to world; the Academy's operation. Representatives of the Respond to the needs of young scientists in Italian government and UNESCO are members S&T-lagging developing countries; of the TWAS Steering Committee, which meets Promote South-South and South-North annually to discuss financial matters. cooperation in science, technology and In addition to its strong links with UNESCO innovation; and ICTP, TWAS provides administrative Encourage scientific research and sharing of support for the Organization of Women in experiences in solving major problems Science for the Developing World, IAP—The facing developing countries. Global Network of Science Academies, and the
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