MIA Achieves A Guinness World Records™ Title For Most Languages Used In A Reading Relay

Intiqab Rawoof

October 19, 2022

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) on 12 October set the Guinness World Records™ title for the Most Languages Used in a Reading Relay when the much-loved title The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was read continuously in 55 languages with less than 10 seconds in between each language, the entire reading took one hour and 19 minutes. A total of 177 participants took part in the successful attempt, including readers, judges and volunteers.

Languages read in the record breaking reading project were Arabic, French, Spanish, Irish, English, Dutch, Romanian, Portuguese, German, Tamil, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Serbian, Kannada, Croatian, Afrikaans, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Kyrgyz, Marathi, Amharic, Bengali, Kinyarwanda, Malay, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Chinese (Mandarin), Czech, Tagalog, Greek, Hindi, Georgian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Ukrainian, Kurdish, Malayalam, Montenegrin, Russian, Swahili, Thai, Turkish, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Urdu, Slovak, Gujarati, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Sanskrit, Kazakh, and Yoruba.

Notable dignitaries in attendance during the reading relay were French Ambassador to Qatar HE Jean-Baptiste Faivre; Director of MIA, Dr Julia Gonnella; MIA Deputy Director of MIA Learning and Outreach, Salem Abdulla Al Aswad; and the Guinness World Records™ Adjudicator, Pravin Patel. Ahead of the relay, Olivier d’Agay, the great nephew of the book’s author and Secretary General of the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, addressed participants and attendees through video.

Al Aswad said: “We are absolutely delighted to have MIA achieve the Guinness World Records™ title for the Most Languages Used in a Reading Relay. This achievement is a celebration and reflection of Qatar’s multicultural society and of the many languages that will be spoken during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. A huge thank you to all the participants who worked together to set this record, including Qatar TV who created a perfect programme which will air on television in the coming days.”

Susan Parker-Leavy, Head of Library and her team managed the project and worked with the readers and judges to create an amazing event which shows the importance of reading and libraries in Qatar.