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      UN Survey: Arabs Read Approximately 4 Pages Per Year

      A recent UN survey found that the average Arab in the Middle East reads only 4 pages per year. Westerners read multiple books annually.
      By Malkah Fleisher
      First Publish: 12/8/2008, 1:59 PM

      The average Arab in the Middle East reads approximately four pages worth of literature a year, according to a RIA Novosti Russian news service report published in November. 

      The Syrian newspaper Tishreen, commenting on a recent survey conducted by the United Nations, said that according to the study, Americans read an average of 11 books a year, with the average Briton reading eight books.

      The Arab Thought Foundation, which reports on cultural development in Arab countries, concluded that only a little more than 8 percent of Arabs aspire to a higher education.

      The U.N. survey reported that every year, one new book title is published per 12,000 people in the Arab world, as compared with one per 500 people in Britain. Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) says Israel publishes more than 4,000 books a year, making Israel the second highest per-capita publisher in the world, after the People's Republic of China.

      The United Nations Development Programme Literacy Report for 2007-2008 listed Israel in 56th place for world literacy, with the Palestinian Authority coming in 80th, Jordan 84th, Lebanon 97th, Iran 114th, Syria 120th, and Egypt in 132nd place.