5 things not to miss at the Doha International Book Fair – Doha News

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Qatar’s capital is hosting the 31st edition of its annual book fair with 335 publishing houses among stalls showcasing local and international cultures.

The Doha International Book Fair kicked off on January 13 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, welcoming 335 publishing houses from around the world as well as prominent Qatari entities to celebrate reading, art and culture. The 10-day event also includes daily seminars and lectures, as well as art and writing workshops.

Qatar reads
Qatar Reads features an interactive booth that weaves together writing and art. Several artists were invited to select their favorite quotes from famous books and transform them into corresponding works of art.

The stand asks visitors “Why do you read? and invites them to write down a value that they take away from the reading before placing their answer on a board. Visitors can also sign up for a Qatar Reads program or create a new reading pack.

United States Embassy to the State of Qatar
One of the most eye-catching stands belongs to the United States Embassy – the stand takes the visitor through a passageway into a space-themed room with stars and astronauts, and displays the slogan of the Book fair, “Knowledge is light”.

The US Embassy booth at the Doha International Book Fair

The stand sells over 7,000 books, including fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults. This is part of the Qatar-USA Year of Culture which sees a collaboration between the two countries in cultural exchanges.

Qatar Museums
Qatar Museums offers a wide selection of publications related to Qatari history and culture, alongside Islamic art, archeology and Orientalism. Some of the titles relate to current exhibitions at museums in Qatar, such as Dior and Jeff Koons.

The booth also hosts artist workshops where attendees are invited to talk to an artist about their pieces and technique, while having the opportunity to create works of art themselves.

Embassies
Several embassies contribute to the diversity of literature at the fair. The Russian, Philippine and Japanese embassies are just a few examples of stalls where you can both buy books from the respective countries and learn about their culture.

For example, the South Korean Embassy shows how to make Ddakji – the origami flipping game popularized by the Netflix show, Squid Game. In addition, 31 countries are represented by the multiple publishing houses present at the fair, guaranteeing a wide range of books to choose from.

Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU)
To find local publications, the HBKU Press booth is a great place to start. It features a variety of new books in Arabic and English that have been produced over a two-year period.

It also gives plenty of opportunities to witness author signings, recent author signings such as Matthias Krug (The Girl Who Dreamed of Climbing Everest) and Dr. Reem Al-Anssari (What You Should know about white collar crime).

The HBKU stand at the Doha International Book Fair

The Doha International Book Fair was established in 1972 and has since become one of the largest and oldest book fairs in the region.

It takes place every year and welcomes publishing houses from all over the world, having started with around 20 houses in its first edition to 335 houses from 31 countries in 2022. The Book Fair has regularly selected a country as its “guest of honour”, of which France holds the title this year.


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