Goolge honors with a Doodle the leading historian from Egypt, Mostafa El-Abbadi (Mostafa El-Abbadi), who was born on this day, October 10, 1928 in Cairo and died on February 13, 2017 in Alexandria.
He was considered the leading Egyptian scholar of the Greco-Roman world and was the visionary who conceived and successfully pushed for the revival of the famous Library of Alexandria.
Abbadi graduated in 1951 from the University of Alexandria and in 1960 received a doctorate in ancient history from the University of Cambridge. He returned to the University of Alexandria as a lecturer and later became a professor of Greco-Roman studies.
He focused particularly on the Classical Library of Alexandria and became an authority on the institution, which was the first intended to be the “repository of all knowledge” of the world. In a 1972 lecture at the University of Alexandria, Abbadi stated that a modern great world library should be created.
He then began developing plans for such an institution. In time he was able to convince the governor of Al-Iskandariyah and the government of Egypt to support the project. In 1986 UNESCO agreed to help and the cornerstone for the new library was laid in 1988.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a cylindrical building designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snohetta, opened in 2002 with space for around eight million books on seven levels, four museums, a planetarium, several galleries and a huge reading room. Abbadi donated a 16th-century copy of the Codex Justinianus to the Bibliotheca.
Abbadi wrote Life and Fate of the Ancient Library of Alexandria (1990) and the Encyclop?dia Britannica entry on the Library of Alexandria. In 1996 he was elected president of the Archaeological Society of Alexandria and later became honorary president.
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