x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Dubai book restorers in deal with monastery

Historic texts in Saint Catherine's Monastery in Egypt are to be restored in co-operation with the Juma al Majid Centre in Dubai.

Historic texts in the library of Saint Catherine's Monastery in Sinai, Egypt, are to be restored in co-operation with the Juma al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage in Dubai. Juma al Majid, owner of the centre, and Archbishop Demianos of Saint Catherine's signed an agreement last Thursday for the centre to provide the monastery with a restoration laboratory and offer two months' training in restoration for two people in Dubai. In exchange, the monastery will give copies of all its texts to Juma al Majid to keep under the library's name. These will be available to researchers inside and outside the UAE.

The centre will also create a digital copying office at the monastery, and meet all the restoration and copying expenses. The library has 6,000 texts, of which 600 are in Arabic and the rest in Greek, Armenian, Ethiopian, Coptic and Syrian - on subjects such as religion, history, geography and philosophy. The oldest book dates from the fourth century. The centre has also given the patriarchate of Alexandria a similar laboratory, which was officially inaugurated on Saturday.

The patriarchate has about 70,000 documents, many in the form of scrolls that are growing increasingly fragile. hdajani@thenational.ae