Dedicated in Memory of a Pakistani Schoolboy Who Foiled a Suicide Bomber
Judith’s Reading Room announced the dedication of its 90th English language library around the world in Hangu District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan. One hundred children’s books were donated to the Aitezaz Hassan Shaheed School, named for the 15 year old boy who sacrificed his life while preventing a suicide bomber from entering his school. Over 230 boys now attend the school, which will shortly grow to 500 boys, including high school.
In collaboration with Alif Laila Book Bus Society, the Grand Prize winner in the 2015 Judith’s Reading Room “Freedom Through Literacy” Award, the organization decided to provide English language books in an effort to create a greater understanding between Pakistani and American youth. English is Compulsory for Admission to Pakistani Universities
“The children have been anxiously waiting for new books to fill their favorite place and satiate their inquisitive minds,” said Basarat Kazim, Executive Director, Alif Laila. Convinced that books are change agents and that libraries for children are places of independent research, critical thinking and imagination powerhouses, Kazim embodies a determined and noteworthy commitment to literacy in Pakistan.
Judith’s Reading Room will open its second library in Pakistan (and its 91st around the world) in the coming days at Sheikhupura, a government all girls school, according to Cathy Leiber, President, Judith’s Reading Room. The 100 English language books will augment the 3,000 books in the school library that also serves neighboring schools, reaching 3,500 girls.
Judith’s Reading Room is a nonprofit literacy organization, based in Bethlehem, Pa, founded in 2010 in memory of Judith Krug, cousin to the founders, and a librarian. To date, the organization has opened 90 libraries in 15 countries, containing more than 123,000 books worth over $1.3 million dollars.