Posted on December 01, 2018

Minister of Culture and Sports H E Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali opened the 29th edition of the Doha International Book Fair at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC). Some 427 publishers from 30 Arab and other countries are participating in the 10-day exhibition.

The opening ceremony was attended by the Speaker of the Advisory Council, H E Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud; Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs H E Dr. Ghaith bin Mubarak Al Kuwari; Minister of Justice, Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs H E Dr. Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi; Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs H E Yousef bin Mohamed Al Othman Fakhroo; Director of the Government Communication Office H E Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani in addition to senior officials and heads of diplomatic missions.

The Fair will be open from 9am to 9pm except on Friday when it will remain open from 4pm to 10pm while the Fair’s timings on Thursday will be from 9am to 10pm. “Qatar’s relationship with books is old, dating back to the time of the founder late Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani, who despite the difficult circumstances and the economic and political responsibilities attached great importance to books, said the Minister of Culture and Sports while speaking to the media on the sidelines of the opening ceremony. He added that the Doha International Book Fair not “just an event for selling books”. “Its importance stems from the necessity of renewing the relationship with books,” said the Minister.

Speaker of the Advisory Council said the first book fair established in the Gulf was in Qatar and expressed his happiness with the level it has reached starting with good organisation which reflects the keenness of the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for culture and knowledge. A number of departments of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs are distributing religious books free of cost and showcasing their activities at the pavilion of the Ministry at the Book Fair. “Call and Guidance Department at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs are distributing religious books free of cost to the students and other general people,” Abdurrahman Hafiz Mohamad from the Ministry told The Peninsula.

He said that books are being disbursed according to the qualification of the students for larger benefits. “Islamweb, run by the Ministry, is offering various publications including CDs and books about learning properly holy Quran” said Mohammad.He said that the Islamic Affairs Department is distributing copies of Holy Quran published in Qatar and latest publications of religious books. A number of international publishers are also showcasing books in English language. “We are offering various types of books in English language including academic specially medial, management, business, marketing, school books and fictions,” said Khalid from Pan-world Education, an Indian book stall participating the Fair.

He said that most selling books at his stall last year were related to the motivation and self-help. “Our book stall received overwhelming response from visitors last year,” said Khalid adding that this year he expected more sale because the stall is showcasing various new collections of books including motivational and self-help books, fictions and trade books. Moreover, the book fair is extended from seven days last year to 10 days this year, he added. Under the theme “Doha, A City of Knowledge and Conscience”, the 29th edition of the Doha International Book Fair will conclude on December 8. Russia is the Guest of Honour at the Doha International Book Fair in the framework of the Qatar-Russia Year of Culture 2018. Visitors will know more about Russian literature through a presentation of the most prominent publishers of Russian book.

The participating publishing houses include 287 Arabic books publishers, 68 children’s books publishers and 17 educational books publishers. The number of publishing houses participating in foreign books reached 25 publishing houses while there are 791 book stalls. Spain is participating for the first time in the exhibition this year, represented by a publishing house specialising in children’s books.The number of publishers in this year’s Fair from Lebanon, Jordan and Morocco has increased. The Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic is also participating for the first time.

There will be many cultural events ranging from cultural cafes (a forum for writers and authors), exhibitions of fine arts, with the participation of 16 artists, children’s theater shows and various workshops.