The Doha International Book Fair (DIBF) is the largest and oldest in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which gives Qatar a responsibility every year to continue its excellence and development, HE the Minister of Culture Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Thani said Wednesday.
He was touring the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre where the 31st edition of DIBF kicks off Thursday. He briefed the editors-in-chief of local newspapers and media colleagues on the objectives and final preparations for the launch of the exhibition.
The fair, organised by the Ministry of Culture's Qatar Cultural and Heritage Events Centre (QCHEC), with the participation of publishing houses from 37 Arab and foreign countries, will run until Jan 22 under the slogan "Knowledge is Light" to showcase the human journey of exploration and learning.
During the tour, HE Sheikh Abdulrahman highlighted the most important events and activities, reviewing the developments that the event will witness. He lauded the wide global participation, especially the Arab participation.
“During the current edition, we were keen that the fair includes all kinds of books and depicts different cultures, and we also focused on providing cultural activities suitable for groups of children, while adhering to precautionary measures in line with the Ministry of Public Health’s protocol against Covid-19,” he said.
HE the minister explained that one of the most important goals of the book fair is to bring the public back to reading. Recalling the beginning of the Doha book fair in 1972, he said it was the first of its kind in the GCC countries.
Pointing out that the Covid-19 pandemic had caused the cancellation of the previous edition, HE Sheikh Abdulrahman observed that all precautionary and preventive measures are in place at the event this year.
“Visitors are allowed only up to 30% capacity of the venue and though children under 12 cannot attend, we have planned several activities for them at the event as well as through co-ordination with Qatar TV, including puppet plays.
HE the Minister also expressed his hope that visitors to the book fair would abide by the health, and hoped that this edition of the event would contribute greatly to consolidate the value of reading.
The exhibition will introduce the latest and most recent publications that reflect humans' creative and reflective knowledge across all fields, offering a window of knowledge to researchers, innovators, scientists, and writers to develop societies and improve lives.
In a statement, the Ministry of Culture underlined its readiness and the preparation of all facilities to welcome the visitors to this annual cultural event that highlights creativity and innovation in Qatar.
The ministry stressed the keenness on presenting an extraordinary edition of Doha International Book Fair in terms of in quantity, form and quality, noting that the number of participations in this year's edition is the largest.
Launched in 1972, Doha International Book Fair will mark its 50th anniversary this year, affirming Qatar's cultural leadership and its continuous efforts in spreading culture and knowledge.
Its pavilions have been uniquely designed, allowing 430 publishers, as well as 90 indirect agencies to Arab and foreign publishers, to display their scientific treasures, which makes visiting the exhibition a real opportunity to learn about everything new in the world of creativity, literature and science.
The United States will be the guest of honour at the fair in the framework of the Qatar-USA Year of Culture 2021.
This allows visitors to learn about the different aspects of American culture and intellectual production.
The fair will also witness a large participation at the Gulf and Arab level, such as the participation of the GCC General Secretariat, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture of Oman, the Sharjah Book Authority, in addition to the ministries of culture of Morocco, Algeria, Sudan and Egypt, and distinguished participations of foreign publishing houses, mainly from the United States.
There will be broader participations for the embassies of Palestine, Syria, Japan, South Korea, the Kyrgyz Republic, Indonesia and Russia, as well as the participation of Azerbaijan represented by the Ministry of Culture.
The fair will be held from 9am to 10pm daily, and from 3pm to 10pm on Friday. All precautionary measures will be taken to ensure the safety and health of all.