The 31st edition of the Doha International Book Fair is set to be organized during 13-22 January 2022 by the Ministry of Culture represented by Qatar Cultural and Heritage Events Center. This edition of the Fair, set under the theme of “Knowledge Is Light”, will be held over one period daily from 9 am until 10 pm, except for Friday where the timing will be from 3 pm until 10 pm.
50 Years of Knowledge Dissemination:
Mr. Jassim Ahmed Al-Buainain, Director of the Libraries Department at the Ministry of Culture and Director of the Doha International Book Fair, stressed on the fact that the 31st edition of the Fair comes amid great anticipation from the public; as the Fair embraces all groups, ages and languages. He added that: “This edition is gaining special importance, as the Fair has completed 50 years of its life, since its first launch in 1972; which confirms that the Fair has a long history as it is the first of its kind to be held at the level of the Arab Gulf countries.”, confirming that the State of Qatar continues its giving endeavors to spread culture and knowledge. He explained that the United States of America will be the guest of honor for this year edition in line with the Qatar-USA Year of Culture 2021, as this hosting will witness a presentation of American culture and the presentation of American intellectual works. Moreover, Mr. Al-Buainain pointed out that the present edition of the Fair has a map of its layout in order to serve its visitors and to ensure easy access to books. He added that there will be partnerships with State institutions.
Publishers in Numbers:
On the number of publishers and countries participating in the Fair, Mr. Jassim Al Buainain said: “The number of countries participating in the Fair is 37, while the number of direct publishers reaches 430 and the number of agencies is 90.” It is worth notice that the Ministry of Culture provides support and facilitation to participating publishing houses, such as customs clearance and non-imposing of fees on agencies. Mr. Al-Buainain also pointed out that Qatari publishing houses will have distinguished participation and they will be represented by “Culture Publishing House”, “Hamad Bin Khalifa University Publishing House”, “Katara Publishing House”, and “Qatar University Publishing House”. The following publishers will also represent Qatar: Rosa, Zekreet, El Watd, Al Sharq, Nabja, and Nawa. The Ministry has supported the publishing houses by exempting them from the financial cost of renting pavilions as well as the cost of services provided by the Fair’s halls.
At the level of Gulf and Arab participation, the Director of the Doha International Book Fair confirmed the participation of the General Secretariat of the GCC countries, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture in the Sultanate of Oman, and the Sharjah Book Authority, in addition to the participation of the ministries of culture in the Kingdom of Morocco, Algeria, Sudan and Egypt represented by the General Egyptian Book Organization and the Egyptian National Library and Archives. He added that: “In light of the ambition in each of the Fair’s editions to present the latest in order to attract publishers and visitors at the international level, a number of American publishing houses will participate for the first time in this edition, and the Italian Embassy in Doha will participate in a special pavilion for Italy, in addition to the participation of the Bologna International Fair for Children’s Books. Besides, there will be participations by the embassies of Palestine, Syria, Japan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Russia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Furthermore, the Ministry intends to make the upcoming editions of the Fair exceptional to serve as a cultural festival in different regions of the country.”
Visit Requirements in Place:
In compliance with the precautionary measures and in accordance with the protocols of the Ministry of Public Health, Ms. Maha Mubarak Al-Mohannadi, Director of the Corporate Communication Department at the Qatar Cultural and Heritage Events Center at the Ministry of Culture, stated that all set precautionary measures will be taken and pointed out that entry requirements for visitors will be subject to procedures that ensure safety; as they will not exceed the Fair capacity of 30% with a commitment to abide by health precautionary measures in accordance with the standards of the Ministry of Public Health. She indicated that visiting the Fair requires an online pre-registration and that the Fair visit will be limited to vaccinated persons; including children from 12 years of age and over who have taken the second dose before at least 14 days or those who have recovered from COVID-19 for a period not exceeding 12 months. Visitors also must show their “Ehteraz” application as a mandatory requirement. “Kids attendance is limited to those under 12 years; with a percentage not exceeding 10% of the total attendance, provided that a rapid test certificate is presented (RAT) not before 48 hours of the visit time. As for the entry process, it requires pre-registration via website to fill a dedicated form through which data will be added, age group selected, and the appropriate pledge shown.”, she added.
Ms. Jawaher Al-Badr, Head of the Cultural Committee of the Doha International Book Fair, said that this year’s edition will be distinguished in light of the presence of a new youth leadership at the top of the management pyramid of the Ministry of Culture, which will be reflected in the cultural development and progress of this sector and the cultural activities that will be presented during this edition of the Fair; as teams have worked hard to make it an exceptional edition. Ms. Jawaher Al-Badr also confirmed that the present edition of the fair will witness great momentum represented in the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the launch of the first book fair in Doha, and many distinguished cultural events will be organized as well. She also explained that the 31st edition will witness several cultural activities suitable for children, a variety of cultural activities directed to all age groups, and the participation of a distinguished elite of researchers, experts, academics and intellectuals. The Fair’s activities will also contribute to enriching the cultural scene through several theatrical activities, most notably (Al-Asma’i Bagow), in addition to poetry reciting events, art galleries, and the “Akkas” reflection gallery; while some lectures and sessions will be held remotely in light of the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.