Under the auspices of HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, HE Mr. Salah bin Ghanem Al-Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, this afternoon has inaugurated the 30th edition of the Doha International Book Fair under the slogan “Do you then not ponder? “. The fair witnessed the participation of “335” publishing houses representing 31 Arab and Foreign countries at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.

This opening ceremony took place in the presence of HE Mr. Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud, Chairman of the Shura Council, HE Dr. Muhammad bin Abdul Wahid Al-Hammadi, Minister of Education and Higher Education, HE Mr. Jassim bin Saif Al-Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications, HE Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, HE Dr. Hassan bin Lahdan Al-Hassan Al-Muhannadi, Head of the Supreme Judicial Council, and President of the Court of Cassation, HE Dr. Saleh bin Muhammad Al-Nabit, President of Planning and Statistics Authority, and a number of their Excellencies Sheikhs and Ambassadors accredited to the state.

On the margins of the Book Fair opening ceremony, HE Mr. Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud, Chairman of the Shura Council, declared that: “This year, the Book Fair was brought out in a perfect manner in terms of design, organization, number of participating publishers, and books and publications; as there is a significant difference compared to the previous year”, appreciating the participation of the Qatari publishing houses, particularly the new ones, making use of technological means in publishing digital books, not to mention the role that translation plays as a mean to cultural and humanitarian exchange.

About the Slogan “Do you then not ponder? “, HE said: “How wonderful that our slogans are derived from the rules of our sublime religion which exhorts us to reflect and meditate within the Islamic framework; since this slogan is considered as an invitation to open horizons for reflection and creativity”. He also called on the public to visit the Book Fair, get useful books and be familiar with the knowledge and human intellectual production accentuating that the printed book still has its special enjoyment despite of the emergence of state-of-art technology and digital books across various technology means.

For his part, HE added: “The Ministry is abided by not making this Book Fair just a point for selling books, but also that Doha becomes an oasis of Knowledge and reflection, which is supported with the Book Fair’s cultural program, including seminars, lectures and workshops”, indicating that the objective of these intensive events is to be family-oriented with a view to participating in the Book Fair efficiently, getting valuable and precious books, inclusive of meeting intellectual elites, i.e. authors, writers and intellectuals.

Furthermore, HE highlighted that the Book Fair is exceptional at all levels, in terms of the number of participants; as there are countries that participate in the Book Fair and the cultural program for the first time, calling on the Qatari society passionate for knowledge to attend and get in on the Book Fair activities owing to the fact that this is deemed to be the true measure of its success.