Have you ever read 13 books within two hours? If you think that this is something impossible, then the evidence of that fact was nearly 150 readers, who participated in International Human Library Event in Yerevan, at Double Tree by Hilton Hotel.
On April 14, the Armenian Progressive Youth NGO and PINK Armenia organized The Human Library event. The event was aimed at challenging and breaking lots of existing stereotypes and prejudices through real “book-reader” conversations and to create a positive environment in Armenian society.
The concept of the event was that the participants of the event chose their favorite book number from the card catalog and were able to start the reading process with the relevant book in the allotted 30 minutes through a real face-to-face conversation. The most interesting thing was the fact that the books were people of different nationalities, religions, and creeds, and the readers were the 150 participants of the event.
The heroes of 13 interesting stories, as known as the human library books, were willing to answer all the questions asked by the event’s readers about their own life story. “What is the most interesting principle in Buddhism? Why did the Turkish student decide to visit Armenia and how did people welcome him in our society? Would the young Indian like to live in Armenia? Are people aware of the real principles of Islam and why is Islam considered to be one of the interesting religions? Have people become more tolerant towards homosexuality in our society or not?” these were some of those numerous and sometimes bizarre questions that were of interest to readers.
In the end of the event, many of the book-heroes stated that this was a unique opportunity to interact with new people, without selecting them, but being selected by them, and to share their experiences about their own lives.
“If I could, I would erase all the borders of the world, and only in that case the most important thing would become the real human values regardless of nationality, religion or other features; I am here to prove it,” said Ahmet Yavuzele, one of the human library books.
As response to the positive feedback and the enthusiasm, which followed the event, the organizers promised to have another similar event in the near future.