Wednesday, April 30, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 30,2008) – Emir of Qatar Hamed bin Khalifa Al-Thani donated 2.336.374 USD for realization of the second phase of the project of construction of Gazi Husref-Beg’s Library. This donation made Qatar’s participation in the project to reach the sum of almost 4,4 million USD.

On that occasion, Agreement on the Second Stage of the Construction Activities was signed in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo by the leader of the Bosnian Islamic Community Reis-Ul-Ulema Mustafa Ef. Ceric , Director of the “Unigradnja Company” from Sarajevo Vehid Adilovic and Acting Director of the Hidrogradnja Company from Sarajevo Semir Masic.

The signing ceremony was attended by Ambassador of Qatar to Bosnia Mubarak K. Al-Hajri and construction project coordinator for the Gazi Husref-Beg’s Library Bakir Izetbegovic, as well as representatives of public, political and cultural life of Bosnia, diplomats and other officials.

Readiness of Emir of Qatar Al-Thani to support the construction of the Library was emphasized. That Library is a kind of a memories’ archive and is a testimony of continuity and richness of cultural and historical heritage of Sarajevo and Bosnia.

According to the new project, the library building located near the Kursumli Medresa in Bascarsija will have the capacity of storing 500.000 books and will contain reading rooms, archives, reconstruction rooms, printing press and other follow-up facilities.

For the first time after 140 years, the library which was established in 1537 will have the facilities of its own. So far, the library has been situated in the Kursumli Medresa.

The Gazi Husref-Beg’s Library contains valuable manuscripts written in Bosnian,Arabic, Persian and in other languages. There are some unique documents, over 800 years old. They are considered priceless.

Founder of the Library is Gazi Husref-Beg, grandson of Sultan Bayezid the Second. The Library contains 80.000 books and documents, including 10.000 of old documents and codexes, as well as about 5.000 documents from the period of Bosnia within the Ottoman Caliphate.

Gazi Husref-Beg’s Library was built in 1537 and is one of the most important libraries in Europe.

Gazi Husref-Beg (1480–1541),was a Beg in the the Ottoman Caliphate during the first half of the 16th century. He was an effective military strategist, and the greatest donor and builder of Sarajevo.

He was born in Serres, Greece, to a Bosnian father and a Turkish mother, who was the daughter of the Sultan. Thus, Gazi Husref-Beg was Sultan Beyazid II's grandson. A brilliant strategist and politician, in 1521 he became the governor of the Ottoman province of Bosnia.

Today it is difficult to imagine Sarajevo, or even Bosnia, as we know it without the contributions of Gazi Husref-Beg. He is remembered chiefly as the greatest donor and builder of Sarajevo, and as a Bosnian national hero. Thousands visit his tomb and give a prayer every year.

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