Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 June 2019

Ajman man’s thirst for knowledge and passion for books leads him to open a library

Salim bin Abdulla Al Humaid is such a bookworm that when his book collection started getting out of hand, there was only one thing for it – to open a library.
Salim bin Abdulla Al Humaid established a public library in 1988 to house his book collection. Pawan Singh / The National
Salim bin Abdulla Al Humaid established a public library in 1988 to house his book collection. Pawan Singh / The National
AJMAN // Salim bin Abdulla Al Humaid is such a bookworm that when his book collection started getting out of hand, there was only one thing for it – to open a library.

His love for reading and education led him to the creation of a library for teachers in Ajman in 1988, which was a thank you to those who helped him learn when he was young.

“In the beginning, I had a library in my house and it was for me and my family,” said the 70-year-old. “With the increasing number of books I started putting them in the garage.

“Then I decided to build a small library in 1988, beside my house in Al Nuaimiyah, near Ajman University.

“It was there for students and researchers because education is most essential and the one that lights people’s lives.”

After two years, the library – named Salim bin Abdulla Al Humaid General Islamic Library – was officially opened under the patronage and presence of Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman.

In 2003 it was moved to its current location, in Al Jurf, after the Ruler gave him a large plot of land.

Mr Al Humaid went to Dubai after finishing his primary education. He then worked for 19 years in the Islamic Call and Guidance Centre before working for the Federal Electricity and Water Authority for 10 years until his retirement.

His work never stopped him from continuing his education. He would work in the morning and study at night until he finished his schooling.

All the while, his love for books grew and he still enjoyed bringing new books to his library, sourced from book fairs and shops in the UAE and abroad.

“I buy them from my personal pocket from stores in the GCC and Arab countries. Some are gifts from different libraries and organisations from different Islamic and Arab countries,” he said.

“All kinds of books and encyclopedias are available here. If a student asks for a specific one that we don’t have, we look for it in the UAE and other countries until we find it.”

The library contains more than 250,000 titles covering the fields of history, religion, geography, engineering, arts and literature and more.

The library is divided into four halls, some of which are named after UAE leaders.

“Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi hall is the main one and contains the main books, resources and encyclopaedia in all fields. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum hall is for men. Abdulla bin Humaid hall, named after my father, is for women.

“There is also a Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Hall, and a Sheikh Mohammed bin Ali Al Nuaimi Hall that contain magazines and newspapers and stories for children,” he said.

Mr Al Humaid said that he hoped his library could serve educators and students, many of whom come to get resources for writing their masters and PhD thesis.

His efforts have earned him more than 110 certificates from organisations and departments in the UAE and abroad.

For more information on the library, call 06 7431644.

roueiti@thenational.ae

Updated: December 12, 2015 04:00 AM

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