Saturday, December 26, 2009

Egypt Library threatened with closure. "The Arabist>"

CEDEJ library threatened with closure
BF54AB0B-D19D-4DF0-862A-386DC3993D75.jpgI just found out from a friend that the library at the Centre d’Études et de Documentation Économiques, Juridiques et Sociales (CEDEJ) in Cairo is scheduled to be closed due to budgetary constraints. A number of academics are appealing to the French government (the center’s funder) and the CEDEJ itself to maintain the library, an invaluable resource on modern Egyptian history. Notably, the CEDEJ is thought to have one of the best archives of press clippings on Egypt, maintained since 1977 and one of the best managed and most accessible in the country.

The academics’ letter is after the jump, but on a personal note I’d like to also voice my concern for the CEDEJ librarian, the Tunisian intellectual Mustafa Khayati. Khayati was one of the original Arab members of the Situationist movement in France in the 1950s and 1960s (writing the great “On The Poverty of Student Life” and other radical texts), and is a great resource himself on a wide range of subjects. He would have his own interpretation of the bizarre steps that would lead to the closure of a library at a place supposed to be a research center, but I’ll leave it at that.

Update: Here is another petition in French. Continue reading ‘CEDEJ library threatened with closure’

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