The 33rd Doha International Book Fair will start on Thursday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center. The theme for this year's event is "Knowledge Builds Civilisations."

The upcoming edition will boast the largest international participation in the fair's history. Over 515 publishing houses from 42 countries are confirmed to attend, along with significant cultural contributions from embassies of friendly nations.

The Sultanate of Oman will be the guest of honour, showcasing its rich heritage through a dedicated pavilion. This pavilion will feature a diverse cultural programme highlighting Omani literature, intellectual achievements, and traditional art forms in addition to live folk and artistic performances.

The fair features a prominent presence of Qatari publishing houses, a testament to the country's commitment to supporting the book, publishing, and creative industries. Local participants include Rosa Publishing House, Dar Al Watad, QU Press, Katara Publishing House, Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press), Dar Al Sharq, Dar Al Thaqafa, Dar Napjah, and Dar Nawa, in addition to Lusail University, the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, and Qatar Museums.

The fair will also boast a distinguished regional, Arab, and international presence. Participating entities include the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature of the State of Kuwait; the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism of Oman; the Sharjah Book Authority; the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center; the Institute of Public Administration in Saudi Arabia; and Taibah University

of Saud Arabia. Ministries of Culture from Morocco, Algeria, and Yemen, along with the General Egyptian Book Organisation, will also be represented. Additionally, publishers from China, Azerbaijan, Mauritania, Jordan, and Turkiye, alongside American and British publishing houses, are participating in the event.

Eight libraries from the historic Souq El Azbakeya in Egypt, known for its collection of rare books, will participate in the fair. This initiative reflects the organizers' commitment to showcasing cultural diversity and attracting historical book markets, similar to featuring Baghdad's Mutanabbi Street in the previous edition.

Director of the Doha International Book Fair, Jassim Ahmed al-Buainain, stated that the 2024 fair features new designs with a "Central Zone" at its heart, showcasing historical figures and scholars who have made significant contributions to science, culture, and knowledge.

He added that the Ministry of Culture pavilion boasts a wide range of books and new releases, pointing out that the pavilion features a digital printing press allowing visitors to create on-demand copies of Ministry of Culture publications.

Spanning 2,400 square meters, the "Doha Children" tent features workshops, activities, a theater, and booths from children's book publishers.

The fair director further explained that the Central Zone includes two exhibitions by the Qatar Photography Center. The first exhibition highlights the importance of reading artistically for the public, focusing on Qatar, while the second exhibition, featuring the Sultanate of Oman as the guest of honour, showcases the beauty of nature in Oman and its regions.

The fair also hosts a variety of cultural programmes on the main stage, encompassing seminars, lectures, poetry evenings, and theatrical performances. Daily theatrical performances, organised by the Theater Affairs Center, will be held on the Al Mayassa Theatre stage at the Qatar National Convention Center.

The accompanying programme also includes a variety of workshops in cultural, social, and professional fields, along with a photographic exhibition titled "Read" in the Qatar Photography Center pavilion.

Moreover, the exhibition offers a reading guide service for beginner readers or those who lack experience with reading, regardless of their age groups. Specialists assist them in selecting appropriate books based on their knowledge.

The Doha International Book Fair is open to the public from 9am-10pm daily, except Fridays when it opens from 3pm to 10pm. (QNA)
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