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The biggest library in Europe was opened by Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen shot by the Taliban, in Birmingham, England.
Yousafzai was shot last year by the Taliban after she wrote a blog advocating for peace. She was shot while on a school bus, but managed to survive the attack.
The 16-year-old, who now lives in Birmingham, opened the $300 million Library of Birmingham and spoke to the crowd, The Globe And Mail reports.
“Books are very precious … There is no better way to explain the importance of books than to say that even God chose the medium of a book to send His message to His people,” Yousafzai said.
According to The Guardian, the library is 333,000 square feet and hold the city’s civic archives. The 10-story library houses more than a million books, has an outdoor amphitheater and links to the Birmingham Repertory theater.
The Globe notes that the library was designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo in an effort to revitalize Birmingham, which has been struggling since the recession.
Brian Gambles, the library’s chief executive, said, “This is about trying to create a new image for Birmingham, one that is about learning and about culture.”
image: Wikimedia Commons