FNAC, a leading cultural destination, in partnership with the French embassy in Qatar and L’Institut Français du Qatar, paid tribute to the theme of the 'Era of Enlightenment, the 18th Century in France', while presenting France as the Guest of Honour at the 30th Doha International Book Fair (DIBF).
Qatar National Library, Histovery, Centre des Monuments Nationaux (Centre of National Monuments in France), and the BnF (Bibliothèque Nationale de France/National Library of France) were partners as well, marking the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture.
Dignitaries at the pavilion
Dignitaries with renowned artistes
The booth attracted more than 1,000 students from different schools in Doha
Held under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, DIBF was held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre from January 9 until Saturday.
The French pavilion was honoured by the presence of HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Vice-Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation; HE the Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud; HE the Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali; HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohamed Abdul Wahed al-Hammadi; HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti; HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi; HE the President of the Supreme Judiciary Council Dr Hassan bin Lahdan al-Hassan al-Mohannadi; French ambassador Franck Gellet; Benoit Jaubert, FNAC Darty store network director; and Bader al-Darwish, chairman and managing director of Fifty One East.
"FNAC has had a remarkable participation at the Doha International Book Fair in partnership with the French embassy in Qatar and L’Institut Français du Qatar since 2015. This further cements FNAC’s commitment to its agreement with the Ministry of Culture and Sports to contribute to and support meaningful cultural initiatives in the country," a press statement noted.
Following the theme of this year’s French pavilion, FNAC displayed a large variety of books associated with the 18th century and related to arts, culture and philosophy, as well as a selection of children and educational books.
The pavilion recreated the historic Parisian architecture, which also extended within the exhibition to feature different cafés and a library.
Workshops discussed different topics related to preserving and protecting heritage, the use of modern technologies to attract young generations and foreigners to explore and discover France’s heritage and historical monuments.
The pavilion displayed a collection of books by the Centre of National Monuments, the entity responsible for administrating more than a hundred French historical sites.
It also had a dedicated display by BnF and Qatar National Library.
To add an artistic touch, FNAC hosted ‘An Evening of French Musical Delights’, a piano concert held under the patronage of HE the Minister of Culture and Sports, and showcasing world-class artistes Sonja Park, Lyonel Schmit and Hassan Moataz El Molla.
The event was attended by ambassadors, representatives of the ministry, dignitaries and classical music enthusiasts.
Throughout the fair, guests were able to experience a Histovery virtual visit of the Conciergerie in Paris, which is the oldest remaining part of the Palais de la Cité, the royal residence of the kings of France and the prison of Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution. Thanks to augmented reality, 3D graphics and geolocation, this HistoPad offers 360° reconstructions of the rooms as they were in the Middle Ages and under the French Revolution.
For the first time, visitors could dive into different historical periods, from the time of the Capetian Royal Palace to today’s Courthouse.
A 3D map with interactive captions traces the steps of the Palais de la Cité from the 12th century to today, allowing visitors to fully understand the evolution of this unique monument.
The French pavilion also hosted talks, meet and greets and book signings with renowned French figures who have made a huge impact on the cultural scene in France, including Philippe Belaval, president of the National Monuments Center, Slimane Zeghidour, editor-in-chief at TV5 Monde and author of Sors, la route t’attend, Bruno De Sa Moreira, director of the Histovery company, designers of the virtual tour of the Conciergerie, Nicolas Roche, director of the Bureau International de l’Edition Française, and Anais Halard and Bastien Quignon, authors of Sacha et Tomcrouz, tome 2: La Cour du roi.
Over the 10 days, the booth attracted more than 1,000 students from different schools in Doha, the statement added.