Islamabad :The newly formed ‘Book Reading Club’ at the Information Resource Centre (IRC) in the Embassy of the United States of America, Islamabad, held its first ‘Book Review’ meeting at its premises Tuesday afternoon.
The group had earlier selected a book, ‘Homegoing’, written by Yaa Gyasi, a Ghana-born woman raised in Alabama, the USA and graduated in English from the Stanford University. Yaa Gyasi, in the book, ‘Homegoing’, has traced back the history of slavery, how the slaves were captured or bought by the Portuguese, the English and the Dutch back in 18th century from Africa and transported to the United States in ships, all roped and shackled and the treatment they met while working as slaves in America and how they toiled and survived to become the African-Americans today.
The members of the group, some of whom received the book to read about a month ago, gathered at the IRC to discuss various aspects and facets which have been deliberated and reflected in the book.
A few representatives of the IRC, one of them also born in Ghana and now serving the US government as an Army man, were also present. Whether it was a coincident that this Ghana-born soldier was there to review the book or was it a calculated move, could not be verified though!
The participants were asked to share their feelings and emotions while they were reading the book and what conclusions they had drawn. Interestingly, none of the members of the Club present in the meeting had managed to finish the book to the end!
For some the book was not captivating enough while for some the details in the book were too gory to bear to read any further!
However, they were unanimous on the point that it was a good activity, which will eventually help broaden their view, learn more about culture and traditions, as well as help them learn English and groom a good practice of reading books, a habit fast eroding in face of the electronic gadgets which have taken over the habit of reading printed books! It was a good round of discussion which indeed encouraged the participants to make a resolve to read the next book before they will gather for a review meeting.
The In-charge of the IRC said that they were encouraging establishing such ‘Book Reading Clubs’ to promote the habit of book reading. The participants were informed that the IRC has already established 19 ‘Lincoln Corners’ across Pakistan. In Islamabad the ‘Lincoln Corners’ have been established in the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), the Fatima Jinnah University and the National Library while another has been established in the University of Muzaffarabad in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K).
Similarly more such ‘Corners’ have been established in different universities in Gilgit-Baltistan, the KPK, and Karachi in Sindh.” The IRC has equipped these ‘Lincoln Corners’ with the latest resources and equipment to promote learning, networking, and community engagement. Recently the IRC presented a set of American books, US feature and documentary films and the latest technology, including an iPad and an Osmo Genius kit to its ‘Lincoln Corner’ located in the AJ&K University in Muzaffarabad,” an official of the IRC present in the ‘Review Meeting’ said. The group also selected the next book, ‘Bossypants’, penned by Tina Fey, to read. The next meeting of the ‘Book Reading Club’ members is scheduled in November, 2017.