Dubai Audio Library is launched to help seven million visually impaired people in the Arab world
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of Dubai Executive Council, has launched the Dubai Audio Library, the largest Arabic audio library in the world.
The library, which targets seven million visually impaired people in the Arab world, is an initiative undertaken by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in collaboration with the website Bookshare.org.
The launch of the initiative coincides with International Volunteers Day, state news agency WAM reported.
Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the RTA, and Abdullah Al Basti, secretary-general of The Executive Council of Dubai, attended the inauguration of the library.
Sheikh Hamdan marked the launch by uploading the first book to the Dubai Audio Library, Zayed Diwan, a collection of 87 poems written by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, paying tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The RTA is seeking to provide 300,000 books in Arabic. More than 10,000 volunteers will convert Arabic books into digital format using scanners and edit them before uploading them to the website, WAM said.
The Bookshare.org website has 600,000 books in English, but only 300 Arabic books and the RTA is seeking to increase the number of Arabic audio books on the website to 300,000.
To achieve this, RTA will collaborate with various organisations including Arab publishing houses and get their consent to upload Arabic books.