Qatar National Library (QNL) is participating in Europe’s first Arabic book fair, held via the European virtual platform specialising in Arabic book exhibits with 2D and 3D.

Being held from August 20 to September 4, the Arabic Book Fair in EU is the first of its kind to take place entirely virtually, organised by publishers Nordk Digital World and Dar Lusail Publishing, in collaboration with the website, which sells Arabic books in the European market.

QNL’s involvement in the cultural programme that is held on the side lines of the fair include a lecture revealing its efforts to support the preservation of documentary heritage, looking at future projects in countering the trafficking and illegal circulation of heritage items in the Middle East and North Africa region and neighbouring countries.

Staff from the library will also offer delegates information on Qatar Digital Library, a lecture on Qatari history, as well as a storytelling session from the Children and Young Adults team.

The fair is taking place in a virtual environment, allowing visitors to roam between participating publishing houses displaying over 27,000 books. It encourages intellectual diversity between East and West, featuring distinguished guests from Sweden, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, the Netherlands and Britain, in addition to the Qatari involvement.

The cultural programme will feature lectures by Arab writers, authors and thinkers, in addition to seminars on translation and publishing and ways to activate cooperation between the Arab region and Europe with regard to Arab culture. It will also feature seminars on the importance and mechanisms of teaching Arabic to children in Europe.

Representatives from QNL at the event include Maryam al-Mutawa, head of Collection Access, Distinctive Collection; Ebrahim al-Bishri, senior Information Services librarian; Haya Alsheeb, Information Services librarian; Maryam al-Khalosi, Information Services librarian; Maha al-Naimi, Information Services librarian, History and Philosophy; and Maxim Nasra, Book Conservation specialist.

Amani Saleh Alyafei, head of Science at the library, said: “We are delighted to play a key role in this one-of-a-kind event. The Arabic Book Fair in EU features a distinguished cultural program in partnership with a whole host of important research centres, specialised institutions and other Arab book fairs.

“Qatar National Library facilitates knowledge acquisition by safeguarding the past, embracing the present, and helping to define the future. Being a part of such a dynamic event using the latest modern technology is vital – as is our support for initiatives which reveal Arab culture to European audiences and encourage intellectual diversity wherever possible.”

Thousands of titles for hundreds of Arab publishing houses are available to virtual visitors. The fair will support the spread of Arab culture in Europe, including the launch of a coveted prize for Arab young writers in Europe, as well as a number of initiatives on book publishing and distribution in Europe.