On the sidelines of its participation in the International Conference of Libraries and Information, which was held by the International Federation of Libraries and Information (IFLA) in the Greek capital Athens, a delegation from the Library and the House of Manuscripts of the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine visited some of Greek libraries, to learn and exchange information about libraries' science and expertise, and to brief about the library's experience and pilot projects, while getting information about the projects and works run by a number of major Greek libraries.
The delegation's first destination was at the library of the Panteion University, where they met with Mr. John Lagamtzis, professor in the university and in charge of the induction tours, who welcomed the delegation of the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine coming from Iraq, and then gave a presentation on the university library and its contents and services.
Visiting delegation member Mr. Hussein Al-Rehailati from the e-library at the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine told us about the visit: “We had a meeting with the officials of the library of the Greek Panteion University in Athens. The meeting focused on the process of digitization and clarification of the most important projects carried out by the library of the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine, which was admired and praised by the host officials, who expressed sympathy for the burning of valuable books and manuscripts by the terrorist ISIL organization.”
“And at the end of the meeting, we extended an invitation to them to visit Iraq to directly see the works and projects run by the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine and its Library."
The second destination in the tour was to the National Book Center of Greece. And Mr. Ammar Al-Jawad, a member of the visiting delegation and a participant in the conference, said: "We were welcomed by Mr. Dimitri Maracus; head of Public Relations at the National Book Center of Greece in Athens, who expressed his readiness to provide the possible assistance to develop the work between the two sides, especially after we briefed him on a number of national projects run by the Library of the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine. After which we understood that our projects and works are parallel and may exceed the works and projects of major libraries in the world."
Mr. Dimitri accompanied us to visit the main facilities of the National Book Center, including the server room, digitization and image transfer department. We had meetings with a number of technicians and librarians working in the Center and then we concluded our tour by visiting the Center's library, where we met with its Director who debriefed us about its services.”
The third destination was to the Greek National Library, where the delegation was led by Mr. Alexandros Parasidus, in charge of public relations and induction tours of the library, to have a tour of the library.
In this regard, the head of the visiting delegation and the participant in the conference, Sayed. 'Aqeel Al-Yasiri, Deputy Head of the Department of Intellectual and Cultural Affairs, said: "We had an extensive tour in the National Library during which we listened to a historical overview about it and about the old and modern library location. Then we met with the Director of the Department of Photography and digitization, who gave us a full explanation of the mechanisms, software and hardware used in their library. "
Adding: “After completing the visit of the digitization department, we visited the Department of Restoration of books and manuscripts, where we met with the specialist in book restoration; Mr.Nicolas Circus, who welcomed us and took us on a detailed tour throughout the mentioned department and gave us an explanation of some of their work."
At the end of the tour, an English copy of the book (Karbala) was given as a gift to Mr. Alexandros Parasidus, to be displayed in the Greek National Library.