The recently concluded 30th edition of Doha International Book Fair saw the launch of multiple books as authors from other countries and Qatar got the opportunity to introduce their books to the visitors.
The fair was home to numerous book stalls, authors’ corners, and kiosks set up by book dealers, authors and publishing houses from across the world. The visitors were offered an unmatched flair and flavour of books in different languages.
On the occasion, many Qatar-based authors, both nationals and residents, successfully launched their books. The Ministry of Culture and Sports also supported and launched many books translated in and from Arabic language.
One prominent book launched at the fair was Warriors in Times of Sacrifice. The book primarily published in English is distinct and attention-grabbing in many ways. It is written by a former ambassador who served in Qatar. The book speaks about Qatar especially in times of the unjust blockade.
During an interaction with Community, Oreste del Rio Sandoval, former ambassador of Panama to Qatar, spoke about his book and his experience being in the country.
“Warriors in Times of Sacrifice is written between 2018 and 2019 – the period I served as the youngest ambassador. It is a tribute to the country, its leadership and its people. I have actually become a tool to show the world that what Qatar really is. The book sheds light on where Qatar comes from and where the country is heading for. It gives perspectives of a foreigner, who has lived and served here,” said Oreste, who received his credentials just 10 days before the illegal blockade was imposed on the country.
“This experience inspired me more to get a deeper insight on all the aspects about Qatar. What you can expect to find in the book is; explanation of several aspects of the country. It talks about the history of Qatar, its rich culture, the legal structure, the royal family, Qatar Airways, Al Jazeera channel, and the planning of the World Cup 2022,” noted Oreste whose earlier book contains his articles written for different Spanish newspapers.
Regarding how he got the idea of penning a book, he said: “I have been delivering lectures at different universities in countries namely, Spain, Argentina, El Salvador, and Panama. I have been speaking about my experience as a young ambassador in a country like Qatar. While lecturing the young students, I realised that I needed to write down my experiences.
“I am inspired by the national anthem of Qatar. I love the lines when they say ‘we are tough in time of peace and we are warriors in times of sacrifice’. As a resident of Qatar, I have been living under the unjust blockade. That is why I have given the title Warriors in Times of Sacrifice to my book.”
The cover of the book has been designed by Olga Sinclair, Panama’s very recognised plastic artist, who has honoured Qatar with a 1.5 x 1.5 mts beautiful painting.
“Sinclair has visited Qatar two times and from those trips she got the inspiration of colours and shapes. Considered by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful women in Latin America, Olga Sinclair has presented the work titled ‘Doves in times of Peace’ as a way to pay tribute to Qatar through art. Putting together the plastic arts with writing and the diplomacy, we have created Warriors in Times of Sacrifice,” added Oreste, an attorney at law and political science expert from the University of Panama.
Besides being the ambassador to Qatar, Oreste served as the concurrent Panamanian ambassador to Oman and Kuwait. Before coming to Qatar, he served with the Embassy of Panama in UAED as deputy head of mission and counsellor for political and economic affairs.
In Panama, from 2014 to 2015, Oreste served with the minister of foreign affairs as director general of foreign policy and director general of international economic relations.
The foreword of the book has been written by Dr Mehran Kamrava, who is a professor and director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. Considered as one of the most important authors in the region, Dr Kamrava is author of several journal articles and books.
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