In its folds exists a world of writing!

By: Abolhaggag Mohammed Bashir, Arabic Content Editor

Reading and writing are deeply interlinked processes. Both are the result of the other. Who does not read will not write, and who does not write will not be read. Knowledge, if not recorded in writing, is doomed to nonexistence and annihilation.

There is no better argument for the writing-reading interconnectedness than the Glorious Qur’an. The pen is mentioned in the fourth verse of the very first verses of the Heavenly Revelation that urges people to read and learn, stressing the crucial importance of writing, not only for learning, but as a means to preserve knowledge:

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ (1) خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ (2) اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ (3) الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ (4) عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ (5)﴾ [سورة العلق]﴿

Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists), 
Has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).
Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous,
Who has taught (the writing) by the pen.

[Chapter 96 Surat Al-Alaq (The Clot)]

A world in which no one writes is surely a lonely and desolate world. It is not an overstatement to say it is a world where life itself comes to a halt, and where humans would never create civilization or build communities. If reading gives you another life that others lived, indeed writing is the process of recording and conserving such life from oblivion.  There is no other human activity where humanity clearly manifests in its finest form than the act of writing. Writing is an exclusive human talent that no other creature can do or even imitate. Those who track the differences that distinguish humans from other beings should put writing on top of the list!

Some may think that the Qatar National Library is keen on advocating reading more than writing. In fact, writing is high on the Library’s agenda of priorities, as much as reading. When you enter the grand hall of Qatar National Library, the first thing your eyes meet is a raised sculpture of a Quranic verse in which the Lord of mankind swears by what humans and angels write: 

﴿ن ۚ وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ﴾  [سورة القلم: 1]

Nun. By the pen and what they write 

[Chapter 68 Surat Al Qalam (The Clot)]

Noteworthy, this verse is the first in a Quranic chapter titled “The Pen”. 

This sculpture embodies the Library’s belief in a simple fact – reading will never thrive if writing is to left to fade wither.

Writing and Communication Station

What’s better to showcase how QNL nurtures writing skills for all ages than establishing a department named "Writing and Communication Skills Station" specialized in developing these skills. The Station holds many training sessions and workshops to develop writing skills in various areas and fields, in a positive, stimulating and inspiring atmosphere.

Among these sessions and workshops are writing seminars for young adults and adults in both Arabic and English to discuss inspiring ideas and engage in conversations on the writing process, how to improve resumes, cover letters, professional LinkedIn page or university applications, and skills needed for writing scientific and academic research papers to be accepted by publishers of academic journals.

Library members aged 18 years or above are welcome to request a one-to-one writing consultation to get support for writing essays, dissertations, applications, proposals, email and letter-writing, creative writing. 

The Station also provides guidance in the following areas: approaching a research topic, finding resources and using databases, organizing your writing, citation and referencing, Language (English grammar and vocabulary), editing, preparing for presentations and public speaking. 

References on Writing

The Library’s collections abounds with numerous print, electronic and digital references on writing skills in English, including but not limited to:

  1. The science of writing characters: using psychology to create compelling fictional characters / Kira-Anne Pelican.
  2. Academic writing skills for international students / Siew Hean Read.
  3. A handbook of basic writing skills for EFL learners / Mesheska Make.
  4. Essential writing skills for college & beyond / C.M. Gill. Gill, C. M. (Charlene M.)
  5. Writing skills for public relations: style and technique for mainstream and social media / John Foster
  6. Writing skills success in 20 minutes a day.
  7. Let's write [electronic resource]: activities to develop writing skills for 7-11 year olds / John Foster
  8. Essay writing skills: essential techniques to gain top marks / Jacqueline Connelly and Patrick Forsyth
  9. 8th grade reading comprehension and writing skills.
  10. A companion to creative writing [electronic resource] / Edited by Graeme Harper.


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