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Underwood Library Receives Scholarly Book Donation

February 14, 2014

Book Series  
METI Book Series

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently donated a book series to the David L. Underwood library at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley.

The Middle Eastern Texts Initiative (METI) Book Series includes translations of Eastern Christian texts from the Arabic original, as well as Islamic and philosophical texts. Examples of this work include "Avicenna: The Metaphysics of the Healing"; "Averroes: Middle Commentary on Aristotle De Amina"; and "Ephrem the Syrian," a selection of poems.

Rihab Sawah, associate professor of physics and co-chair of the Global Education Committee, was instrumental in making this happen.

“I attended a lecture in St. Louis about the METI at Brigham Young University that has been translating Arabic scientific texts dating back to the golden age of Islam in the Middle Ages,” said Sawah. “It was through this that I connected with a community representative from the church, and she informed me about a possible donation to our library.”    

Two weeks later Sawah received an email informing her that the books were already shipped to St. Louis, and that she could proceed with the donation procedures. 

Sawah said the book-series donation to the David L. Underwood library was the first donation to an academic institution by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

“These books will serve as great resources through our MOBIUS system,” Sawah said.

“These books will allow our students to have a global experience without having to leave St. Louis,” said Marcia Pfeiffer, president of STLCC-Florissant Valley.

Each of the texts published by METI at BYU includes the Arabic original text on the right side of the page, and the translation on the opposite page. This makes them accessible to a much wider audience around the world.

Sawah said the effort in preserving ancient texts is rare, and is similar to the example of the Loeb Library published by Harvard University Press for Greek and Latin texts. 

METI has published 25 books in this series.