In 1996, UNESCO organized its Arab-wide cultural project “Kitab Fi Jarida” (Arabic for Book in a Newspaper), with the participation of several countries of the region. Beirut, Lebanon was selected as capital city for the project under a protocol signed between the Directorate-General of UNESCO and the Lebanese Ministry of Culture. Hariri Foundation acted as the national project donor in Lebanon alongside the Zayed Foundation and Sultan Al Owais Foundation in the United Arab Emirates and Sakhr Foundation in Kuwait. The project aimed at reuniting Arabs culturally and breaking the barriers hampering the free flow of Arabic books through supporting and disseminating works promoting the Arab Culture and raising the awareness of citizens around prominent regional and international authors.
Kitab Fi Jarida has succeeded in making books accessible to the public, publishing the works of 66 authors with an average print-run of 3 million copies per author and a total 200 million copies of Arab literary masterpieces, distributed free of charge across all Arab countries.