Doha International Book Fair continues to attract overwhelming number of visitors at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) where a variety of literary, musical and entertaining activities welcome the book lovers.
The fair is regarded as one of the largest international book fairs of the region with extensive participation from different countries around the world. It goes beyond saying that the fair serves as a platform to exchange cultural diversity and a space to inspire dialogue and share knowledge.
Organised by the Ministry of Culture and Sports every year, the salient feature of the 30th edition is various books that are being launched. There are many books related to Qatari literature that are being translated in different languages. The books are duly launched by the representatives of the ministry at different booths in DECC.
One such book launched recently was Samarat, collection of selected stories of Qatari writers. The collection contains 12 short stories by different Qatari writers and the stories are on different topics. The stories are translated by Abdullah Kamal, an Indian expatriate working with the Ministry of Culture.
Though the history of short story writing is not very old in Qatar, numerous talented short story writers have made their mark in a short period of time in the country. Exhibiting best of their talent and abilities, the writers have tried to do justice with the genre. The selected short stories that are included in the book are distinct in themes, style, description and illustration. The selection of these stories has been in such a diverse way that it clearly depicts the aesthetics and evolution of short story in Qatar.
The selected stories duly introduce cultural and social life of Qatar to a totally strange reader. The publication of the stories in Urdu further highlights the fact that Qatar is a place where Urdu is a major means of communication.
The book was formally launched by Sheikh Mohamed al-Kuwari, Director of Translation and Publication department. The project was spearheaded by Sheikha Rashid al-Kuwari, Head of Translation and Publication department.
Talking to Community, Abdullah Kamal said, “The stories were selected by the Ministry of Culture and I only translated them into Urdu. Most of the stories deal with social subjects focusing on family and society. I like translating literary books and I plan to translate more books in future.
“Such translated books help Urdu speaking people who live in Qatar to understand and appreciate the local literature and culture. They say that there are around 2 million people in Qatar who can communicate in Urdu and Hindi. Such books are beneficial and are of interest for a large segment of Qatar’s population.”
Abdullah who himself is an Urdu poet and writer has been writing articles for newspapers regarding the current affairs and political issues. “I often write in Urdu the politics and current issues. I also love writing Urdu ghazals and poems.”
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Mohamed al-Kuwari said that it was good to see the interest of expatriate communities in Qatari literature. He said that the ministry is happy to see the interest and trying to tap it. He noted that different Qatari literary books have been translated in different languages. The director also stressed on the point that the ministry will continue translating literary books in different other languages. The ministry has also been translating books from other countries into Arabic to enhance cultural exchange.
Separately, the ministry officials formally launched another book that is translated into Urdu. The book Hisar Qatar is published by Al Jazeera’s research centre. The book is translated in Urdu by Nadeem Mahir, who himself is an Urdu poet. The book is published by Ashraf Siddique, a known member of the Pakistani community.
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