The Battles that have not been fought stands on the books’ shelves

In the city of Ezaz, a renewing library initiative has reopened the city’s main library after being closed for over six years due to negligence. The city’s nearly half-million residents will be able to visit the library, read, hold social reading activities and reading circles.

According to the initiative’s activist and head of the campaign and Ezaz’s youth’s team, the new campaign of its kind in the city targets to run maintenance not only the library facility but also the books in the library include which reaches nearly up to 30 thousand books. The library book collection includes a large spectrum of social science and art books. The commission-free library will open daily to the public reader and encourage them to re-embrace reading habits. 

The enterprise is undertaken by a group of ten youth volunteers who are working on the restoration process from clearing the library to fixing old used books and publicize among all Syrian to visit the library and explore the books and free space that they can use for peaceful reading. 

“We aim throughout the awareness campaign across the city to boost people to bring back reading as a daily habit.”

“Reading is an integral tool for fighting ignorance, radicalism and the evil ideology that is based use people’s basic knowledge to brainwash their brain. This would not have occurred if reading public education was in place.”

Neglected battle

Mohammad Al- Saayd, social and physiological specialist based in Turkey unravels one of the grassroots problems that the Ba’ath regime, civil society organizations have failed to properly address. He explains that Assad the son and father’s policy have always aimed to indoctrinate Syrian brains with the one-sided book’s theme that incorporates explicitly Ba’ath ideology.

“Reading improves and expands people’s knowledge. The regime’s policy in Syria, even the schooling system, worked to make youth do not enhance reading habits by the curriculums. that made young people hate reading and tearing apart books when they finish. This can give us a glimpse of how Assad wanted Syrian, notably youth to develop an attitude towards learning and personal education, let alone the public school.

The importance of libraries, reading shall become one of our essential battles that goes hand in hand with the military battle against the Assad regime.

The civil society needs to uphold the significance of reading contribution to society holistically

Mohammad Al- Saayd, social and physiological specialist

Throughout books enrichment of people’s thinking regarding various public sciences, national and international affairs, namely the one that had been banned before the Syrian uprising. Reading makes people think and expand their knowledge about different concepts related to their rights.

Reading is the bread of the uprisings. It is the seed of free-thinking and free nations

Mohammad Al- Saayd, social and physiological specialist

What has negatively affected Syria over the past years was ignorance. The ignorant movement by the Baath has been used by, not only Assad but also with radical groups who brainwashed people. If Syrian were on a higher level of knowledge, their immunity would have prevented many crises that occurred over the past years. Therefore, if civil society craves a social change in the long term in Syria, they must revive reading habits in every Syrian district.

Unexplored initiatives

Al-Saayed has co-founded Dobamen initiates in Hatay, Turkey where he runs among Syrian girls reading challenges. The groups meet to decide the book, read it, then come back and discuss their thoughts after summarizing the books’ ideas.

The concept of this whole imitative is to provide the new generation with space where they can share their thoughts and ideas freely with no boundaries. It brings different learning and thinking methodology where they can be critical and unhesitating, afraid of what their thoughts are. 

“Schools many times give people ignorant instead of knowledge, hence libraries and self-motivated reading is the only means to learn which where civil society shall invest if their aim is long term change,” Al-Sayyd explain

The civil society could help to invest in small endeavors that assist not only libraries reopening but also thinking about how we can use technology to serve this cause. Everyone today has access to the internet which can be taken advantage of by providing new content that encourages reading.

“We can produce video materials that give people suggestions for books to read of different sciences and arts.” Al Sayyid said,

“This accumulation of knowledge building and exposure to a variety of knowledge will render an imperative advancement towards an intellectual generation that will build better Syria,”  

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