A symposium entitled “The Role of Reading in Enhancing Soft Power in Light of Rapid Technology Developments” was held as part of the activities of Doha International Book Fair, held under the slogan “By reading we rise” at Doha Exhibition and Conference Center, in the presence of a group of interested persons and visitors to the fair.

Dr. Fatima Ghanem Al-Maadeed, the Director of the Arab Center for Educational Training for the Gulf States, and Dr. Mohammad Mustafa, an educational expert, participated in the symposium. It was moderated by Iman Al-Kaabi, the Director of Qatari Media Center affiliated to the Ministry of Culture.

Dr. Fatima Al-Maadeed stressed on the importance of using modern technology and employing it in training children in the habit of reading by listening to recorded and online stories, as well as through their favorite activities, in addition to the programs available for reading on the Internet.

She added by saying that the state holds many activities that urge students to read, and has public libraries that benefit students and encourage them to read and borrow books to develop the reading habit, mentioning the possibility of transforming modern technology into a factor that helps in the actual promotion of reading.

Also, she said that technology today is a necessity and societies cannot isolate from it, and therefore the use of technology and its use in what is beneficial is due to the user himself and how to use it.

For his part, Dr. Mohammad Mustafa said that: Technology today helps reading everywhere and anytime, as there are many websites that contain a large collection of books available for reading for free, in addition to sites for audiobooks as well that enable the browser to listen to the audio of what he wants from books.

He added by saying that the rapid development in some sites, including Arab and foreign sites, made them managed by artificial intelligence and facilitated the process of browsing and searching for the reader to reach books that suit his tendencies, pointing out that digital devices are characterized by their ease of movement and allow electronic reading and browsing of sites for reading from anywhere in the world.