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Historic Islamic Library Reopens In Sarajevo

A new building housing the Gazi Husrev-Beg Library, a collection of more than 100,000 mainly Arabic and Turkish texts, has opened in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The library was founded in 1537 by Gazi Husrev-beg, a provincial governor of Bosnia under Ottoman rule, who also financed many buildings in Sarajevo's old city. The location of the collection was moved many times throughout its history; during Bosnia's war of the 1990s, the collection was housed in eight different locations. The newly built library was funded by donations from Qatar. (Photos by Midhat Poturović, RFE/RL's Balkan Service)

The facade of the new building of the Gazi Husrev-Beg Library in Sarajevo
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The facade of the new building of the Gazi Husrev-Beg Library in Sarajevo

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Dignitaries from Qatar attended the opening. Qatari donors provided some $8.8 million to finance the construction of the new library.
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Dignitaries from Qatar attended the opening. Qatari donors provided some $8.8 million to finance the construction of the new library.

Bosnian schoolchildren attend the opening ceremony.
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Bosnian schoolchildren attend the opening ceremony.

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Bakir Iyetbegovic (left), the Bosniak member of Bosnia-Herzegovina's tripartite presidency, alongside a Qatari official
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Bakir Iyetbegovic (left), the Bosniak member of Bosnia-Herzegovina's tripartite presidency, alongside a Qatari official

The library houses more than 100,000 items. The oldest is an Arabic-language manuscript dating to the beginning of the 12th century.
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The library houses more than 100,000 items. The oldest is an Arabic-language manuscript dating to the beginning of the 12th century.

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