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25 November 2018 11:42 am

More than 400 publishers to take part in Doha International Book Fair

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The event will be held under the patronage of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) next to the City Center Mall and will conclude on December 8, 2018.

“A hundred and thirty-three years ago when the books were precious and cherished, our ancestors, led by Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, realised the importance of the books. Despite difficult circumstances and the economic and political burdens, he and his generation attached particular importance to the books, not only to their people in Qatar, but for the whole region,” Minister of Culture and Sports, H E Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, said in a press conference held yesterday at the Doha Sheraton Hotel.

The theme of this year’s Fair is ‘Doha, A City of Knowledge and Conscience’. “The Ministry purchases important books for Qatari publishing houses to distribute them in many regions, including refugee camps in some poor countries. In addition, the Ministry has always supported the Qatari publishing houses. The exhibition fees have also been exempted from the exhibition,” the Minister said.

He also announced the start of the renovation of the Dar Al Kutub in order to be the cultural beacon for the researchers while preserving it as an archaeological building. It is the oldest public library in the Gulf region since its establishment in 1962. The website of the Doha International Book Fair was also launched yesterday.

Director of the Doha International Book Fair, Jassem Al Buainain, said that 30 countries are participating in the 29th edition of book fair, and the focus is on specialised publishing houses in children’s books and young people that “achieve our vision to create a conscious generation”.

Director of the Doha International Book Fair, Jassem Al Buainain, also said the number of publishing houses is 427, while this number was only 355 in the previous edition. “The number of booked stalls at the Fair stands at 975, while there were 760 stalls in the previous edition,” he said.

Al Buainain pointed out that Russia will be the Guest of Honour at the Doha International Book Fair in the framework of the Qatar-Russia Year of Culture 2018. “This is through a distinctively designed pavilion, where many activities will be held. Visitors will know more about Russian literature through a presentation of the most prominent publishers of Russian books. Visitors will also be introduced to classical Russian literature, art and culture,” he added.

The Fair will be open from 9am to 9pm except on Friday when it will be open from 4pm to 10pm and the Fair’s timings on Thursday will be from 9am to 10pm. “The Fair also includes around 121, 900 titles, while there were 85,000 in the last edition,” he said adding, “We are keen that the titles of books fit with the culture and values of the community and traditions.” 

“The number of cultural, artistic and entertainment activities will reach 272 during this year’s Fair, including 25 cultural and intellectual seminars and 28 workshops in various fields, as well as poetry evenings by selected Qatari and Arab poets,” he said.