This edition was exceptional due to surge in number of participating publishers, titles, publishing-houses and exhibition space
Activities were far-greater in numbers when compared to the previous editions with remarkable attendance
New services were presented to the public for the first time and the exhibition was extended for hours in response to desire of enthusiasts
DOHA: Under the patronage of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the 29th edition of Doha International Book Fair concluded on Saturday which kicked off November 29.
The ten-day fair, held under theme ‘Doha: A City of Knowledge and Conscience’, was organized by the Qatar Cultural and Heritage Events Centre of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani visited the fair and was briefed about the participation of the various government organizations and cultural institutions, as well as Arab, Qatari and international publishing houses.
Also H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, visited the exhibition.
Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani also visited the Fair.
The Fair was inaugurated by Minister of Culture and Sports, H E Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, and the inauguration ceremony was attended by senior officials and a large number of heads of diplomatic missions accredited to the country.
The Minister of Culture attended the conclusion ceremony on Saturday in the presence of a number of representatives of publishing houses.
The Minister honored the media, as well as the supporting entities and partners, and a number of accredited embassies in the country, in addition to honoring a number of local, Arab and international organizations which participated in the Book Fair.
During the closing ceremony, many activities were presented by Qatari students, reflecting promising cultural and artistic talents.
The event was attended by some 427 publishers from 30 Arab and other countries.
On Saturday (the last day of the Fair), the exhibition witnessed an overwhelming response from the public, which doubled compared to the previous days of the exhibition especially from the families and was extended by one hour due to overwhelming response received on Thursday and Wednesday.
The number of publishing houses participated in the event was 427, while this number was only 355 in the previous edition. The number of booked stalls at the Fair stood at 975, while there were 760 stalls in the previous edition. The Fair also included around 101, 992 titles, while the number of foreign titles was 17261 in the previous edition.
The exhibition was attended by a number of ministries and government institutions.
The GCC pavilion also participated in the event, and more than 272 cultural events was held on the sidelines of the event.
The exhibition also witnessed signing of 180 publications for Qatari and Arab authors, hosted by the Qatar Forum of Authors, in addition to other publishing houses, which witnessed similar signing ceremonies.
The exhibition also witnessed the signing of several agreements; the first of which was by Minister of Culture with KhalifaJassim Al Kuwari, Director General of the Qatar Fund for Development which is a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry and the Fund on supporting the cultural activities of refugee children and displaced Syrian persons in Turkey.
The exhibition also witnessed the launch of application which is first of its kind in Qatar and aims at converting printed books to other audiovisual works.
The presentation of Russian pavilion in the Book Fair was held in the framework of the Qatar-Russia Year of Culture 2018.
The bright design of the pavilion was particularly noteworthy. It was inspired by Suprematism, the style which had a significant effect on the history of visual art.
The educational program for the stand was curated in collaboration with Qalam Hebr and personally by Buthaina Al Janahi to create the best possible representation of both, Qatari and Russian culture.
Besides, a number of panel discussions and lectures were held at the Russian stand.
Zelfira Tregulova, the Director of the State Tretyakov Gallery, and Sheikha Reem bint Talai Al Thani, the Director of Exhibitions of Qatar Museums, talked about the Russian Avant-garde and its place in the history of art.
Frol Burimskiy, the curator of fashion projects within the Qatar-Russia Year of Culture 2018 together with Fahad Al Obaidli, the fashion designer and creator of the Masaha fashion community, delivered a lecture on the influence of the Russian Avant-garde on fashion design, and Aleksey Medvedev, journalist and film critic, spoke about the development of the Russian cinema.
For those who are interested in Russian literature, there was a discussion devoted to ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoevsky in the Book Club by Rwaq.
The Doha International Book Fair is considered as one of the largest international book fairs in the region, which is highly regarded due to the high demand from Arab and foreign countries. The number of participating countries has been increasing continuously since the establishment of its first edition in 1972 as the first book fair held in the Gulf.