Queen Rania Opens Microsoft Electronic Library in Marka

November 17, 2003

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Amman) In line with national efforts to advance Information Technology (IT) in the Kingdom, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah inaugurated the second Microsoft Electronic Library (MEL) in Marka on Monday.
With initiatives spearheaded by Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania to provide Jordanians with opportunities to excel in the field of IT, the introduction of computers into schools and centers across the nation and the important role of the Internet in education and the overall positive impact of IT on the Jordanian economy, efforts to provide Jordanians with the right tools will facilitate their access to technology and enable them to attain the necessary skills allowing them to compete equally in local and international labor markets.
Established two years ago, the first MEL at Haya Cultural Center’s (HCC) main branch achieved great success, attracting more than 55,000 Jordanian children.
These two libraries are educational facilities that were established by Microsoft Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean (GEM), in cooperation with HCC, paving the way for Jordanian children to access the world of information technology.
Queen Rania toured the center’s facility which is equipped with 19 computers with access to the Internet and are uploaded with Encarta Encyclopedia and other educational products like the Magic School Bus series.
With Jordan’s strongest asset being its human capital, Queen Rania said we must ensure that long-term sustainable initiatives capitalize on this asset and focus on learning experiences, and encourage students to acquire new knowledge and employ creativity and critical thinking.
 Between 25,000 to 30,000 visitors are expected to visit the new MEL in the next two years, providing Marka residents with the opportunity to utilize Internet services and the latest technologies. Mr. Zeid Shbeilat, Business Development Manager, Microsoft Jordan underlined “the second electronic library will further add to our commitment towards the government’s vision of turning the Kingdom into an ‘electronic country’.
We believe that giving the Jordanian youth the required educational and technical training and exposing them to the latest .NET Microsoft technologies will contribute to realizing that vision.”
“Through these initiatives Microsoft aims to contribute to reducing the digital gap, and thus, building a better future for communities,” he added.
The MEL library in Marka is part of Microsoft’s commitment to servicing the local community and supporting the IT industry in the Kingdom, helping people, especially the youth, reap the benefits of today’s digital revolution.
 Partnering with Microsoft on the project for the second time is the Haya Cultural Center, a non-profit organization with a mission to develop cultural and creative abilities in children.
The center which enables children to discover and learn through many of its scientific facilities is visited by over 50,000 students annually.
The Jordan Telecom Fund also supported this initiative by providing a leased line in cooperation with Wanadoo. In addition, the Arab Academy for Microsoft Technology offered training for the instructors who will be managing the library.
For its part, the Haya Cultural Center has provided the premises for the library and will manage and supervise all operations. HCC will maintain a schedule of programs and activities offering regular access to all those interested.