“A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life.”

–Norman Cousins


Al-Qarawiyyin Library is the world’s oldest

continuously running library.


It is now an established fact that a woman, Fatima El-Fihriyathe, erected the world’s first University. However, the same woman is also credited with establishment of the world’s first library in her university for herself and the scholars and lovers of learning of her time.

What is interesting in the case of this library is that it is not only the first but also the world’s oldest, continuously running library. It dates back to 859 AD. Al-Qarawiyyin, recently underwent restoration. And the library has been restored to its former glory, and the precious documents that were once under lock and key are now available to the public.

Pakistani authorities, which are almost wrecking the historic Empress Market, can learn lessons from the team that was given the task of restoring the library. The team worked meticulously as there were some formidable tasks ahead of them. However with due diligence and extreme care, the engineers not only restored the library to its old glory but they also made some modern improvements that will ensure the longevity of the building.