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by Our Nice
Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
March 10, 2005
From journal Alex Happy Time
November 5, 2002
The modern library is a worthy succesor to its ancient counterpart. Located at the eastern end of the Corniche, the library is an impressive modern structure. With its slanted all-glass façade, the library is supposed to represent a sun rising. Along the outside walls are samples from every single writing system in the world (I was in linguist heaven!). At night the library is lit up beautifully with blue lights.
The library is open every day, but the hours vary. I happened to show up at 12pm on Saturday and the library didn't open until 3pm. However, I was able to talk my way in and it payed off because I was the only person in the whole library. During regular hours, the line can get long, so expect to wait a bit. The library only opened last month, so hopefully the lines will shorten with time. Entrance will cost you $2.
The inside of the library is beautifully designed, with hardwood floors and desks and black metal shelves. At the time I went in, they were still collecting books, so the shelves were not full yet, it will be impressive when they are though. The main floor of the library contains interesting modern art pieces from artists around the world, as well as three interesting art galleries that will have rotating exhibits. At the time of writing, there was an exhibit of biological photography that showed the development of a fetus, an interesting exhibit on the history of Alexandria, and the most impressive, an exhibit showcasing collections of very old books. They exhibit contained extremely old copies of books by Arab philosophers, such as Avecinna, as well as Renaissance-era books from Europe.
The Library of Alexandria is definitely an impressive sight that deserves a visit. It will make you think back to the days of Alexandria's glory, when it had the greatest library in the world, and as the library slowly works itself towards full operation, it will only get more impressive.
From journal Alexandria: The Perfect Break From Cairo