Bringing different cultures under one roof

Different nationalities and cultures have come under one roof at the 30th edition of Doha International Book Fair at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC). People from different nationalities and cultures are visiting the fair not only to buy important books but also to attend cultural activities, training workshops and entertainment activities for children.

The fair, no doubt, provides a great opportunity for visitors to purchase books especially children’s literatures, as they are a priority for many families in particular, where most of the families The Peninsula interviewed looked for books for their children. 

This fair is special for children as over 70 publishers selling children’s books are participating. The book fair is an opportunity to meet everyone’s cultures and get to know about the cultures of others. It is a place that serves as a small umbrella for all countries like what is represented by the United Nations. In the book fair you see all nationalities from many countries including India, China, France, America, Africa, and Arab countries.
Jayanth Motamarri, from India, said: “I work for the Public Works Authority (Ashghal). Actually I just came to know about the book fair through social media. My kids like books very much and that is the reason I am here. I came on the first day and will come again to the to explore all the stalls in the exhibition. It offers a lot of education, entertainment for children and seminars for adults.”

“It is very nice, and I am happy and children are happy too. We enjoyed buying some books from here.” 

The President of Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Dr Yasser Sulaiman Maali, commented: “I have come to the book fair to look around and to see what publishing houses have to offer this year.”

“Due to the nature of my work, my interests may differ compared to others. It is a great pleasure to see the number of Qatari publishers participating in the fair. Here you will see publishing houses from North Africa, from Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Syria, Lebanon and from Gulf countries.”

“Also there is something interesting in the fair which is the availability of plenty of children’s books. The fair this year in my point of view is better organised compared to the previous edition. Among the important books which I have seen here is a book about Qatar and through it you can see many changes and how Qatar has developed over the years. It contains photos about old streets and buildings, some of them still survive and while others could not pass the test of the time,” Maali further said.

“The Doha International Book Fair is very important for all as it attracts people from different places. It establishes a connection with culture through publishing. The fair this year is very rich as there are more than 700 pavilions which is something great. It is also good to see children’s books,” he added.

“It is also relaxing in terms of its design, one starts feeling part of it. The Book Fair is not only the place to come and buy books but it is also about ambience. You look around to discover many titles and then at the end you tend to buy the books that you had not planned. I am always surprised when I see people come and say do you have this book,” the President of Doha Institute for Graduate Studies added.

The 30th edition of Doha International Book Fair is witnessing the largest participation of private publishing houses of Qatar through hundreds of titles of Qatari and Arab authors as well as multiple translations of foreign writers.

Among the Qatari publishing houses participating in the fair with many important books include Katara Publishing House ( 150 titles), Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (over 100 new titles), Roza Publishing House (115 titles), Dar Al Watad (35 titles) and Lusail Publishing House (126 titles).

There are discounts on books up to 25 percent. The number of pavilions of Arabic books is 559, represented by 228 publishing houses, and the number of foreign pavilions is 91 represented by 35 foreign publishers. The fair will continue until January 18.

As seen on Peninsula Qatar  Image Credits Peninsula Qatar