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Sama Al Barghouthi, a young Palestinian paediatrician, has launched a new cultural project in Jerusalem. Called ‘Jinnyat Al Kotob’ (Book Fairies), the project strives to support Palestinian and Arab publishers, as well as provide readers with opportunities to exchange their books with peers by giving them as gifts to book lovers in the city.

Al Barghouthi was inspired by an international project in which intellectuals and activists exchange their books in their respective cities around the world. The project is themed after a fairy butterfly who fulfils the dreams of children by enabling them to believe that their beautiful dreams will come true.

Along with a group of friends and colleagues, Al Barghouthi buys books from bookstores or simply takes them from home libraries, wraps them with colourful ribbons, and leave them on chairs in public places, in front of homes and stores. The following note is written in each book: “This book is a gift for you. Please read it and leave it somewhere as a gift for someone else.”

Sama Al Barghouthi underscored that the idea is to set the books free and transform the ownership of books from being exclusive to one person to belonging to the world. She pointed out that the books feature an array of topics for people of all age groups, starting with world literature novels, and ending with children’s books.