Culture Minister Haifa Najjar opened the 15th edition of the “Reading for All” festival on Sunday, as part of the Jordanian Family Library project in Salt Development Cooperation in Balqa.
The opening ceremony of the festival, coinciding with the Kingdom’s centennial, was held in Salt to celebrate its listing as “the city of tolerance and urban hospitality” on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, according to Najjar.
“Through this programme, the Ministry of Culture aims to build a culture of awareness, encourage reading, and allow Jordanians to create their own home libraries by providing books at symbolic prices, ranging between 25 to 35 piasters,” Najjar told The Jordan Times.
The book releases from the festival’s 15th edition, which include 53 titles written by Jordanian authors, will be sold in 42 different locations around all governorates of the Kingdom from 9am to 5pm, she said.
“We made sure that selling centres are distributed in a manner that allows all citizens to benefit from the goals of this project in implementation of the principle of justice and springing from our belief in the influential role of culture in advancing the nation,” she added.
The festival, which was first launched in 2007 under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania, has released 836 titles printed in 3,452,000 copies since its launch, according to Najjar.
She noted that 915,000 of books printed through this programme were for children, “because they are the generation of tomorrow and the pillars of the future”.
“For that reason, the ministry tries as much as possible to contribute in providing sources of knowledge for this large segment of Jordanian society,” Najjar said.
In addition to books that target children, topics covered in the festival’s releases include Jordanian studies and heritage, Arab Islamic heritage, literature and arts, general knowledge and philosophy, as well as science and technology, she added.
Najjar invited everyone “to visit this library, which is filled with valuable books that have been carefully chosen by a higher committee of experts to meet the interests of as many segments of the Jordanian society as possible”.
The five-day festival runs until November 18.