Students complain about lack of libraries in provinces

KABUL (TOLOnews): Students told TOLOnews that there are not enough libraries, or any way to access books, in their provinces. They asked the Islamic Emirate to focus on creating reading facilities in the provinces.
“There is no place for reading in our province, there is no library so people can study in it, we don’t have a government library,” said Habib, who came to Kabul from Paktia.
“We ask the government to build more libraries for us so that students can have easy access to books without problems,” said Noorul Haq, another student.
Meanwhile, the owner of the women’s library in Kabul said that after the closure of the universities, the number of visitors to the library has dropped.
The owner of the women’s library, Julia Parsi, asked the Islamic Emirate to lift restrictions on women and provide opportunities for them in the fields of education and reading. “I ask the Islamic Emirate to stop interfering with our library and let it grow, if they truly want to promote the culture of reading books. Girls should be able to visit and study at our library whenever it is open,” Julia told TOLOnews.
The director of the public library, Abdullah Abed, said that it is important to focus on fostering a culture of reading.
“The Islamic Emirate should pay special attention to the reading culture and scientific institutions and should spend money in this field, as much as the expenses are spent on the military,” Abed said.
However, officials in the Ministry of Information and Culture said that it pays special attention to the growth of reading culture in the country and will allocate a specific budget for the building of libraries in the next year.
“These issues truly exist, and we’re working in this area to find a specific budget for building more libraries in the coming year,” said Hayatullah Mahajer Farahi, press deputy for the Ministry of Information and Culture.
Some booksellers said that the market for selling books has dropped and the current government should take measures to foster the culture of reading.
“In this area, the government should establish a national cultural policy that will establish a clear path, and after that, public libraries should be established, at least, in every district, and the government should buy books for the libraries,” said Safiullah, a bookseller. “Sadly, the culture of reading books is very weak in our country. Weak means that they are either distant from the book or do not have access to it, according to Mohammad Akbar Azimi, head of the Kabul Booksellers’ Union.