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The Egyptian Book House is the first national library in the Arab world. In 1870, at the suggestion of Ali Pasha Mubarak, the head of the library of knowledge, Khedive Ismail issued the Supreme Order establishing a book house in Cairo to collect manuscripts and books that had been seized by the sultans Princes and scholars on mosques, shrines and schools to form the nucleus of a public library based on the role of national books in Europe. In 1904, the library moved to a building that was established in Bab al-Khalq Square.


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