Torky: Our meeting at the Library of Alexandria is highly symbolic and asserts the key role of knowledge today in eliminating violence, extremism and conflicts

Bin Huwaireb: The Global Knowledge Index is a gift from HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid to the world, in the year of giving


Alexandria, 10 July 2017

The Arab Knowledge Project (AKP) held its third experts meeting in Alexandria, on the 8th and 9th of July, 2017. The meeting that was hosted by the Library of Alexandria, comes as part of the ongoing preparations for releasing the first global edition of the Knowledge Index. It was attended by a select of experts and professionals from Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia, in addition to UNDP’s AKP team.

Within the same context, AKP had earlier organized two experts’ meetings, the first in Beirut in May 2017, and the second in Dubai in June 2017. "The fact that today’s meeting is held at the Library of Alexandria, a global knowledge and culture icon, makes it all the more distinguished," said Dr. Hany Torky, Chief Technical Adviser at the Arab Knowledge Project.

The meeting discussed in detail the new refined version of the index, namely the structure and feeding variables for the global edition, and the conceptual and statistical methodology, in continuous efforts to produce the first-ever global knowledge index, set to be launched in Dubai during the upcoming Knowledge Summit in November. It is projected to include more than 140 countries worldwide, with the participation of Arab and foreign consultants and experts, supported by a team of specialized researchers, and using the most recent and reliable data from around the world.

The Knowledge Index is an interdisciplinary index that focuses on the state of knowledge from a human development perspective. It includes six main sectoral indices: Pre-University Education, Higher Education, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Economy, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and Research, Development and Innovation (RDI); in addition to a supporting sub-index on knowledge-enabling environments.

The Knowledge Index is produced and released by the Arab Knowledge Project, in partnership between the United Nations Development Programme – Regional Bureau for Arab States (UNDP-RBAS), and Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF).

His Excellency, Jamal Bin Huwaireb, CEO of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, had earlier designated the upcoming knowledge index in its global edition as “a gift from HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to the world, highlighting the continuous and leading efforts of the Emirate in supporting knowledge and development in the region and around the world.” Bin Huwaireb added, during a recent press conference held in Dubai to announce the launch of the global index: “MBRF is working alongside its strategic partners on making the index a success, capitalizing on the status of Dubai and the UAE as a regional hub for knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Bin Huwaireb noted out that “our Arab history is rich in intellectual and knowledge-related capital, and the Library of Alexandria that is hosting this meeting, is a clear evidence to that, being one of the largest libraries in the old civilizations, and a historical center for the dissemination and acquisition of knowledge. Our mission is not only to protect this capital and heritage, but to further develop it and invest all possible efforts and capacities, including scientific and technological innovations, and the power of the fourth industrial revolution, in advancing knowledge transfer and exchange across the globe, to contribute to the development of sustainable economies, based on knowledge.”.

Dr. Hany Torky, Chief Technical Advisor at AKP, described the meeting at the Library of Alexandria as “highly symbolic and asserts the key role of knowledge today in achieving sustainable human development and eliminating the waves of violence, extremism and conflicts witnessed across the region.” Torky expressed his gratitude for the library authorities for generously hosting the third AKP experts’ meeting, saying: “It is a great honour for us to be convening in this iconic civilizational and cultural institution.”

Noteworthy is that the Library of Alexandria’s history dates back to the third century BC, and is considered one of the largest libraries in old civilizations. It is also known as “the royal library of Alexandria,” being one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world.

It was a major institution of scholarship and part of a larger research institution called the Museum of Alexandria, where many of the most famous thinkers of the ancient world studied, including Euclid and Archimedes. The library was burnt down in a historical fire, that symbolizes cultural loss, and was only re-opened in 2002 with the support of UNESCO. Today, the Library of Alexandria or Bibliotheca Alexandrina functions as a modern library center, with the capacity to accommodate up to 8 million books. The library includes six specialized libraries, three museums, seven research centers, two permanent exhibitions, six additional multi-purpose halls, a conference center, and a sky dome, all commemorating the original great Library of Alexandria and its spirit of knowledge and cultural exchange.