independent

Sunday 23 September 2018

Any Arabic books lying around? Send them to Bridgetown!

Anna Hayes

A small independent Wexford book shop is doing its bit to help members of the Syrian community to integrate into society by appealing for Arabic books that can be passed on to families.

Red Books in Bridgetown is owned and run by Wally O'Neill, pictured right, who explained that he had been asked by a group of college students in Waterford if he could source books for refugees settling in the country.

Wally put out a call and said that the response that he has received has been very supportive.

'Seamus O'Brien contacted me and asked if we would get involved. We've had great response from all over Wexford and even from outside the county. We haven't had any big boxes of Arabic books sent to us yet but we have contacted our own suppliers to see if they can help.'

Wally explained that a big percentage of their customer base was Eastern European as they stocked a lot of books in Polish and Lithuanian and not many stores did that. He said they had, so far, received a couple of singular Arabic books, the vast majority of which had been picked up by accident by people!

'It's more about integration than anything else and books were the first thing that the group looked for. It's about making people feel welcome. We're a book shop and we want to promote reading, whatever language the book is in.'

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