Blind researchers no longer have to be accompanied when looking through references and books to complete their scientific papers or just when reading. Within weeks, they’ll be able to do all that on their own as a large number of books and references in Braille become available at the Egyptian National Library. Even more significant is the fact that they can request specific references to be translated to Braille using a printer at the Library.
Dr. Ahmad Shawky, head of the library, said to Al-Hayat, “The Library is following a methodical plan to make its resources available to all groups, including the visually impaired. Their section is being developed to include a library of the most well-known books and references, whether written in Braille or audio materials, as part of a greater plan to digitize the different contents of the library, including books, references, scripts, documents, regular publications, as well as music and audio materials.”
The Hall of the Visually Impaired is one of the halls within the Special Groups Department of the Library (established in 1870). There is also a section for art and another for music but they weren’t very active. The Library is working to change that by not just limiting the services to reading and instead, extending them to include courses and workshops for the visually impaired. This direction is reminiscent of another undertaken by the national media organization Akhbar El Yom when it released the first general publication in Braille directed toward the visually impaired. It is also worth noting that the content writers of Akhbar Braille are visually impaired. The first issue was released last March.
This is a translation of an Arabic article by Rihab ‘Ulaiwah and was published on Al-Hayat Newspaper on 8 July, 2017.
The significance of reading differs from person to person depending on their inclinations and interests. Some may see it as a good and useful way of spending their free time, while others may see it as a life necessity. However, reading goes beyond being simply a means of enjoyment and gaining knowledge thanks to the many benefits it brings to mental health and capabilities.
In this article, we present to you five benefits of reading that can strengthen the mental capabilities and health of readers.
1. Strengthens Neuron Synapses
Reading is considered to be one of the activities that most motivates the brain to perform its functions and develops neurological communicative and analytical capabilities, especially in children and youth. It also strengthens the neuron synapses in the brain.
2. ِEnhances Focus
The processes the brain performs while reading and analyzing texts vary from reflection to thinking, imagining, analyzing, connecting phenomena with their concepts, which lead to more reflective and expressive writing and speaking, developing analytical skills and increasing focus.
3. Develops Creativity
Creative abilities are directly proportional to the amount of reading done, as reading enables the individual to think differently and to come up with the unprecedented as their horizon widens and their knowledge increases. Many mental health experts have drawn connections between the extent of creative skills development and amount of reading.
4. Activates Memory
As a mental activity and source of strengthening mental skills, regular reading reduces memory loss and lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s; some studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s who read showed symptoms of the disease later compared to those who do not read.
5. Helps Fight Depression and Anxiety
Reading plays a role in reducing the levels of depression and anxiety because the reader gains new dimensions of thinking that may decrease certain negative thoughts they may have learned through social and personal experience. Reading is considered a resistor against simple neurological diseases, such as headaches and insomnia.
Read the original Arabic article by Diala Al-Rifa’i on Inkitab.
I slither and crawl on my belly
I shed my skin each spring
My body is long and skinny
The sound I make is a hiss