‘Canada is the most multicultural country in the world’


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Syed Najam Hassan

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Syed Najam Hassan has received a lot of support for his outdoor libraries from his family and his local community

Syed Najam Hassan is 42 years old and lives in Alberta, Canada.

He set up his first free public library on his front lawn in Calgary three months ago.

Today there are libraries in seven different locations in Alberta with hundreds of people visiting each one each day.

Syed’s aim: “To bring different cultures together” inspired by their love of reading.

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Syed Najam Hassan

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Syed Najam Hassan: “I make the bookshelves at home”

Syed was born in Pakistan and moved with his family to Canada from Saudi Arabia in 2009.

He’s received support from the organization Love with Humanity, his family and the local community.

“My 12-year-old son, 16-year-old daughter and 18-year-old daughter have given me their pocket money in order to help me to do this” he said.

The books are written in 40 different languages and Syed has been collecting them for more than six years.

“The premise is you take a book and you return it later.”

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Syed Najam Hassan

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Punjabi and Urdu books sit alongside Canadian classics like Anne of Green Gables

The libraries are currently situated in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane and Chestermere.

Speaking about his aim Syed said: “I’ve always wanted to do things for people.

“I love the thought of different cultures coming together.

“Canada is the most multicultural country in the world.

“It’s big hit. People love this idea” said Syed. “Even the prime minister of Canada.

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Syed Najam Hassan

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Syed Najam Hassan arranges books at the multicultural library he set up on his front lawn

“People from different cultures are sharing their love of books in easily accessible places.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

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