South Korea is expecting to attract a record number of visitors to its booth at the 29th Doha International Book Fair, which runs until December 8 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC). Cultural attache Chung Wonwoo told Gulf Times on Friday that the embassy estimates that more than a thousand visitors went to South Korea’s booth in last year’s book fair.
"We are hoping to receive more visitors for the entire duration of the event," he said, pointing out that South Korea has been a regular participant in the book fair for the past several years. “Given the size of this year’s venue, I think the book fair will exceed the number of visitors compared to the one held in 2017. And we are hoping that more Qataris and other expatriates would visit the South Korean booth this year in order for them to further understand the Korean culture, and to find out more of our many tourism destinations,” Wonwoo pointed out.
He said visitors to their booth will get the opportunity to go through the several hundreds of traditional Korean books, including a variety of information on top tourist destinations across the South Korean peninsula. The South Korean official also said the embassy is bringing back to the exhibition Han Kang’s book, 'The Vegetarian' for which she received the Man Booker International Prize for fiction in 2016.
“We are also presenting the Korean alphabet, Hangul, including a book about our alphabetic writing system. There are also several activities being held at the South Korean booth, such as a calligraphy programme where visitors to the booth can get their names written in Korean calligraphy,” Wonwoo said.
The book fair was officially opened by HE the Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali on Thursday. The event, which is being attended by 427 publishers from 30 Arab and foreign countries, is held under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
After the opening ceremony, South Korean ambassador Kim Chang-mo welcomed al-Ali, who visited the booth together with HE the Advisory Council Speaker Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud and HE the Minister of Endowments (Awqaf) and Islamic Affairs Dr Ghaith bin Mubarak al-Kuwari.
According to Qatar News Agency, the Qatar Cultural and Heritage Events Centre organised the ‘29th International Book Fair’ under the theme ‘Doha, a City of Knowledge and Conscience’, which is driven from the ministry’s vision ‘Towards a Conscious Society with Sound Conscience and Healthy Body’. “We understand that the Doha International Book Fair is one of the biggest books fairs in this region, and South Korea is very keen to enhance the cultural exchange between our country and the State of Qatar, which is why we are regularly participating in this event and other similar activities,” Wonwoo emphasised.
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