The 31st edition of the Doha International Book Fair (DIBF) provides an opportunity to exchange literature, introduce young children to reading, and promote the rich culture and heritage of various countries, three diplomats have said.
“As I walk around the exhibition, I was very impressed by the quality of the booths, they are just beautiful and well-constructed but also the variety of books that are available here,” US embassy chargé d’affaires Natalie A Baker said, describing DIBF as a landmark event and a world-renowned book fair.
US embassy charge? d’affaires Natalie A Baker
“We are very proud to be a participant… and to walk around and see books from all over the world, from Turkey to India to Italy, France, and the US, and Qatar of course is so wonderful,” she added. “I hope to walk around the booths even more to spend more time to listen to the music that is playing in the background but also to read some of the literature that comes from across the world that’s available here.”
The event, being held under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, opened on January 13 and will run until January 22 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC). Themed 'Knowledge is Light', it features literary works of local, regional, and internationally-renowned authors and publishers from 37 countries across the globe.
The US booth, designed by celebrated Arab-American designer Christina Khater and located at the entrance of Hall 3 at DECC, also serves as an attraction at DIBF due to its unique and futuristic design.
“We also have solar panels outside of the booth and so that also emphasises our commitment to sustainable development and to fighting climate change,” the envoy said.
Italian ambassador Alessandro Prunas lauded the book fair saying that he was “impressed with the quality and quantity of exhibitors, and it caters to a lot of different tastes, from children to adults.”
“I saw that the Arab Centre for Policy and Research is also participating, so you have the high-end universities, academic institutions, all the way to children’s books, it is really looking very promising,” he said.
The Embassy of Italy in Doha, in collaboration with Qatar’s Ministry of Culture, will officially present on January 17 (10.30am) at DIBF the Arabic translation of two books by Italian writer Gianni Rodari, 1970 winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award – the Nobel Prize for children’s literature.
South Korean ambassador Lee Joon-ho said a well-organised event like the DIBF is an ideal platform to promote cultural exchange between countries.
He said around 10 Korean publishing companies are taking part in the event, showcasing various book categories like novels, tourism, culture, economy, history, and children’s books with English and Arabic translations.