Under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the 29th edition of the Doha International Book Fair (DIBF) will run from November 29 to December 8, with participation of 427 publishing houses of 30 Arab and other countries, at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.
HE the Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem al-Ali on Saturday announced the details of the book fair, themed "Doha, A City of Knowledge and Conscience."
The minister said: "Over 130 years ago, the generation of our forefathers, led by the late Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Thani, had recognised the importance of books. Despite the difficult circumstances, he and his generation attached particular importance to books, not only to their people in Qatar, but throughout the whole region.”
The audience at the press conference.
He pointed out that the Qataris have always been keen to uphold those values established by their predecessors no matter how challenging and difficulty they were.
Jassem al-Buainain, director, Doha International Book Fair, noted that the Russians will be the guest of honour of the exhibition in the framework of the cultural year "Qatar-Russia 2018".
The exhibition, being organised by the Qatar Cultural and Heritage Center of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, is located on an area of 29,000sqm, the largest ever since its inception in 1972. “The number of pavilions reached 975 suites, an increase of 215 suites from last year, while the number of registered books is over 121,900, with special attention to children's books,” he said.
He said the exhibition would provide a number of services and facilities for visitors, by placing a number of information desks outside and inside the exhibition halls and volunteers under the name "Ask me" to answer queries, in addition to providing cultural cafes and free car parking.
HE the Minister al-Ali announced the start of the renovation of the Qatari Book House in order to be the cultural beacon of the researchers while preserving it as an archaeological building. The book house is the oldest public library in the Gulf region since its establishment in 1962.
The website of the Doha International Book Fair (https: ///29.dohabookfair.qa/) has also been launched. It offers a detailed map of participating publishing houses with the possibility of searching the titles of books and identifying the cultural events accompanying the exhibition including lectures, seminars and workshops as well as an application for smart phones through which to identify all information related to the exhibition.
The minister stressed that the vision of the ministry since 2016 has been to support the private sector especially in the field of publishing and the number of Qatari publishing houses have now reached six.
On the book fair coinciding with the examinations in schools and the expected impact on the exhibition as a result of this, the minister expressed the hope that the timing would not affect the number of visitors to the exhibition.
On the censorship of books participating in the exhibition, the minister said, "We resort to the publications law in the country. The publishing houses have been informed of this law, which includes preserving the values and principles of the society, without prejudice to beliefs, incitement to hatred, or violence, which is unacceptable in most countries of the world, stressing that Qatar is keen on freedom of thought, but in accordance with the responsibility specified by the law.”
The Doha International Book Fair will open its doors to the public from 9am to 9pm, except Thursday, which lasts until 10pm, and Friday from 4pm to 10pm.
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