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A New Initiative Will Improve Access To Books In Saudi Arabia

An initiative called Literature Everywhere will be introduced by the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission to increase accessibility to literary works throughout the Kingdom.

The commission's CEO, Mohamed Hasan Alwan, expressed his optimism for the initiative's potential to increase readership to Arab News. The initiative will concentrate on increasing public accessibility to various literary forms. Podcasts, audiobooks, poems, short stories, comics, and manga will all go under this category.

“The Literature Everywhere program expects to contribute to raising cultural awareness directly through the project’s diverse activations (Literary Cloud, Literary Partner and Short Stories), targeting different segments of society, focusing on their sustainability factor while also empowering the private and third sector to contribute,” Alwan said.

There will be QR codes on banners and posters so that anybody in municipal spaces with waiting areas may access literature.

Literary Cloud offers audiobook material. Users may access a choice of podcasts that are up to 45 minutes long by scanning the QR code and selecting their favorite length. There are some English-language productions on the show even though the majority of the content is in Arabic. The program includes conversations about Saudi Arabia's cultural, social, tourist, and entertainment industries in addition to star guests from the cinema, television, and sports industries. Also included is the "Kotobiology" podcast by geologist Hussain Al-Ismail, who has a euphonious voice.

The Eastern Province's recent Writers and Readers Festival featured a Literary Cloud corner with a recording setup that let attendees have a taste of what it's like to record a podcast. Authors, poets, and other notable visitors were interviewed in the booth as well.

The initiative's second program is called Literary Partner. The initiative, which is intended exclusively for partnerships with cafés around the Kingdom, will entail venues promoting literary works and hosting events in a user-friendly and creative manner.

Cafes are invited to submit an application to become a Literary Partner in order to promote cultural awareness and recognize the contributions and writers of Saudi literature. Cafés may host book clubs, activities, and literary festivals, such as Arabic Language Day, under the program.

The third program, Short Stories, will make short stories available for free via QR codes. 2020 saw the beginning of an experimental phase in airports all around the Kingdom.

The Literature Everywhere program welcomes partners from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

“Literature, with its channels and genres, has been developing since the beginning of time. The theatrical, performing and rhetorical arts are examples of this development,” Alwan said.

“Therefore, we as a commission and through The Literature Everywhere’s different projects aim to keep pace with this development by utilizing digital resources to make literature readily accessible.”

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