Biblical Archaeology Review 44:1, January/February 2018

Strata: Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s Father Has Died

Mostafa ‘Abdel Hamid el-‘Abbadi, the man behind the recreation of the ancient Great Library of Alexandria in Egypt, died in February 2017, aged 88. Professor of Classical Studies at Alexandria University, el-‘Abbadi devoted much of his research to the ancient library of Alexandria. His book The Life and Fate of the Ancient Library of Alexandria remains a valued account on the long-vanished wonder of Egypt’s former capital, but el-‘Abbadi will be most remembered for his initiative toward the modern recreation of this “temple” of learning—an imposing, 11-story structure on the banks of the Mediterranean. Called by a Latin name, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the new library was inaugurated on October 16, 2002. However, the library’s greatest champion, Mostafa el-‘Abbadi, was not among the distinguished guests at the official opening. He was not invited—apparently because of his criticism of how the project had been carried out.

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