To promote an awareness of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) as 
an international center of cultural exchanges and meetings. 
To gather intellectuals in the fields of science, arts, and the humanities 
as envisioned by Alexander the Great and Ptolemy I in 300 BC.
To attend, support, and contribute to the friends of the BA annual 
meetings in Alexandria, Egypt and other BA International meetings.
To contribute to various BA programs by donating books and art 
collections and by soliciting monetary funds from individuals and institutions.

Steering Committee

Aida Khalafalla, Ph.D.                Chair
Helene Peters, Ph.D.                 Honorary Member

Wendy Hess                              Advisor

Prof. Karen Hoyle   Library Consultant
Diane Katsiaficas, MFA             University of Minnesota Liaison

Barbara Hicks                            Graphic Design Support

Peggy Linrud                              Advisor, Editor

Patrick Plonski, Ph.D.    Executive Director, Books for Africa

Jeff Rathermel               Executive Director, MN Center for Book Arts

Jane Simon    Advisor

Ragui Assaad                            Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Mona Haddary                           MN Egyptian American Community Representative

Julie Hill                                     Advisor, University of California, San Diego School of International Relations

Sylvia Tag                                 Librarian, Assoc. Professor, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

Mary Demaine                           Advisor

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina welcomes monetary donations to help maintain its operation . The original library of Alexandria was founded in 288 BCE by Ptolemy(Soter).This library became a major repository of thought of the ancient world and a resource to its users. Subsequent upheavals within the Roman empire resulted in its gradual neglect and ultimate destruction in 400 CE.
The new library
opened October 2002 near its original site. It is an important resource not just for the number of manuscripts or books it has accumulated, but as a center for visitors and patrons to access digital information and the internet.
For more information visit the website of the BA at www.bibalex.org
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization. 
Your donations are tax deductible. Any checks or donations should be made to the
Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Foundation and must be sent to: 

Rhonda R. Shearer
62 Greene Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10012

Tel: 212/925-8812

Ms. Shearer, in turn, will acknowledge your donation in a letter to be used for your tax deduction.
If you are a Minnesota resident and interested in joining the Minnesota Friends of the BA please call or email Dr. Aida Khalafalla. (Contact information below)

Aida Khalafalla
Address:      2551 37th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55406

0ffice:           (612) 724-9547
Mobile:            (612) 298-8720

Email:        aidakhalafalla@hotmail.com

Accomplishments to date of Minnesota Friends of the BA


The following shipment arrived to the BA:
-A Thomson Reuters Law Library
-A Memorial Library to honor The Barton Family
-Two pallets of Merck's Medical Manuals to be distributed to doctors and medical students in Egypt.

During an event in Limassol, Cyprus, Dr. Khalafalla briefly met with the Ambassador of China and was given the following books to donate to the BA:
-A Glimpse of China, by Jim Bo
-Locata, A Sward Stories by Liu Jun and Bruce Hums
-A Bridgehead in Eurasia, by Ma Juan
-A Successful Practice by Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet, by People's Republic of China Foreign Language Press

The Chinese Ambassador donated five DVDs to the BA as well.

Dr. Aida Khalafalla with The President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades 

Attended an invitation from the Ambassador of Egypt in Washington D.C. to celebrate Egypt Independence Day in July 2018. At this event, met with H.E. Yasser Reda, Mrs. Reda, and Jared Kushner, the son in law of President Trump, who attended the reception.

Dr. Aida Khalafalla outside the Egyptian Embassy

Dr. Sanchez, who previous donated $42,000 of middle eastern documents negotiated another shipment with Lamia, all expenses paid.

On March 3rd of 2018 the Minnesota Friends of the BA hosted an event to honor Dr. Helene Peters for her contribution as an active honorary member of the group. Dr. Peters is quite familiar with the BA, as she visited 11 years ago and was given a tour by Dr. Wastawy. She joined the group 10 years ago, and has continued to give monetary donations through the years.


Attended an invitation from the Consulate of Egypt in Chicago to celebrate Egypt's Independence Day.

Dr. Mary Demaine donated her Library of Archaeological books to the BA, and two large boxes arrived in Alexandria in September of 2016.

Dr. Aida Khalafalla personally donated $2,000 for the "Shakespeare's 400 Forever and a Day" 2016 celebrations at the BA. She also donated money for upgrading the braille printer at the Taha Hussein Library.

August 6-7, 2015

The Minnesota Friends of the BA hosted BA General Director Dr. Ismail Serageldin and His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Tawfik, the ambassador of Egypt to the U.S., in a two-day event, with overwhelming attendance from the Minnesota community. A business meeting with top Minnesota-based companies, such as Cargill, 3M, Medtronic and Caribou, afforded Ambassador Tawfik the opportunity to discuss ongoing trade and new future ventures with Minnesota. Dr. Serageldin also attended the business meeting and offered important insights.

The dinner event on August 7th was a great success; Dr. Serageldin received a standing ovation from an appreciative audience. Professor Rosalie Caneo Amer, University of California-San Diego, presented information on the worldwide Friends of the BA. Minnesota Friends member Wendy Hess presented gifts of appreciation to the two honored guests: the book Minnesota: Hail to Thee by University of Minnesota Professor and author Karyl Ann Marling, and handmade copper bookmarks with an image of the state bird, the loon.

Event program

Event guests socializing

Dr. Khalafalla, H.E. Mr. Mohamed Tawfik and Mrs. Tawfik, Dr. Samiha Ibrahim

Dr. Ragui Assaad, Dr. Serageldin, and Dr. Khalafalla

Dr. Aïda Khalafalla, Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Dr. Helene Peters, Peggy Linrud

Ehab George, Dr. Aïda Khalafalla, Dr. and Mrs. Ragui Assaad, Mona Haddary,
Dr. Samiha Ibrahim

Alex Plonski

Dr. Helene Peters and Mrs. Tawfik

Dr. Khalafalla and Mrs. Tawfik

Standing ovation for Dr. Serageldin.

May 2015

Diane Katsiaficas, a MN Friend of the BA and University of Minnesota art professor, and Jeff Rathermel, executive director of Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA), co-taught a book arts workshop at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina for 13 enthusiastic Egyptian artists. Alexandria University art and design faculty and Cairo graphic design professionals also participated. The BA's Gamal Hosni helped organize the workshop.

This fall, Rathermel and Katsiaficas will lead a group of Minnesota artists in developing collaborative works with participating Egyptian artists for an exhibition at the University of Minnesota in February 2016.

Diane Katsiaficas, Jeff Rathermel and Gamal Hosni with workshop students.

One of the creative products from the workshop.


On August 2, 2010, a shipment of approximately 15,000 books--a large quantity of children's books, and valued at $286,000, was sent to the BA. Dr. Patrick Plonski, executive director of Books for Africa, collaborated in the venture.

A shipment of 22,000 law books from the Thompson Reuter law library reached the BA on April 10, 2012. The shipment, valued at $286,000, was coordinated by Dr. Plonski and Ms. Hadeel Abdel Hady, legal strategic advisor for PLLC, Washington, D.C.

A shipment of 22,000 library books--containing few duplicates and valued at $242,000, was shipped in April 2014, in partnership with Books for Africa.

To date, some 59,000 books, valued at approximately $814,000, have been shipped in 340-foot containers to the BA.

A Middle East library was established within the BA through the donation of the personal library of Dr. James Sanchez of Seattle. The donation included two sets of 86-volume Middle East abstracts and indexes; total current value of the 172 volumes is estimated at $49,882. Dr. Aïda Khalafalla coordinated the gift.

Dr. Aïda Khalafalla next to poster showing donations from Books for Africa and MN Friends of the BA

Dr. Aïda Khalafalla, MN Friends chair, with Dr. Patrick Plonski, Books for Africa Exec. Director,
and Jane Simon, author and donor of children's books.

A work of art by the late Dr. Willem Kolf (often called the "inventor of life") was donated to the BA by Dr. Aida Khalafalla. Dr. Khalafalla purchased the artwork at a Salt Lake City American Heart Association event to raise money for cardiac research. Dr. Kolf (1911 - 2009) is credited with inventing both the artificial kidney (the birth of kidney dialysis) and the first total artificial heart.

Monetary Donations from:
Dr. Khalafalla, MN Friends of the BA chair
Dr. Hélène Peters, MN Friends of the BA honorary member
Renée Malloy, La Liaison Francaise de Minneapolis-St. Paul
Anne Phillips, University of Minnesota Libraries
Prof. Julie Hill, University of California, San Diego


Dr. Annica Dahlström, Chair of the Friends of the B.A. in Sweden, Dr. Mohsen Zahran,
Aïda Khalafalla

Other Accomplishments

Dr. Khalafalla m
et with His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Tawfik, Egyptian Ambassador to the U.S., to discuss sending book shipments to the BA through our MN Friends mission and our involvement with Books for Africa.

Dr. Khalafalla personally delivered Karen Legett Abouraya's Hands around the Library to the BA. Through the Baltimore Friends chapter, Ms. Legett Abouraya collects donations so children's books can be sent to Alexandria, Egypt.
In Washington, D.C., Dr. Khalafalla met with author Karen Legett Abouraya, of the Baltimore Friends, and Erica Stern.

Dr. Khalafalla attended a reception at the French Embassy and met with His Excellency Mr. Francois Delattre, French ambassador to the United States; she thanked him for France’s generous contribution to the BA.

Dr. Khalafalla celebrated the BA’s 10th anniversary at a gala in Mexico City, February 14, 2013. The gracious Ms. Gloria De Silvia, chair of the Mexican Friends, was host of the event. Also in attendance were California Friends Chair Rosalie Amer, and several ambassadors, including the Egyptian ambassador to Mexico.

In Mexico City the Khalafallas with Ms. Gloria De Silvia, chair of the Mexican Friends and Prof. Rosalie Amer, chair of the California Friends.

Hundreds of Minnesota Friends of the BA brochures have been and are currently being distributed at various gatherings and events to bring public awareness to the BA.

A Cyprus Friends of the BA chapter was formed in 2012, with Catherine Nikita, director of the Lanitis Foundation, serving as chair. Dr. Khalafalla was instrumental in traveling to various cities in Cyprus and arranging meetings with university professors and library directors to discuss the BA’s mission. 

With His Excellency the Cyprus ambassador to Egypt, with display of donations from the Lanitis Foundation, presented by Dr. Khalafalla.

University of Minnesota Professor Diane Katsiaficas contributed information about the BA to a brochure that was distributed at a University of Minnesota Libraries art exhibit. A member of the Minnesota Friends of the BA, she also lectured at a BA meeting in Alexandria.

With Ms. Mona El Nashar, BA Deputy Director, Public Relations & International Contacts Department, left, and Dr. Khalafalla.

BA Friends at the entrance of the historic St. Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria, Egypt.
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