The Ministry of Culture launched an application for the 31st Doha International Book Fair which is scheduled to start on Thursday 13 and lasts until the 22nd of January at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center; under the theme of “Knowledge Is Light”. The Ministry explained on its Twitter account that through this application users can search for a book, find out the dates and timings of the Fair, read the latest news, and acquire information on this year’s guest of honor. The Ministry also detailed to its followers some statistics of this year’s edition; where 845 pavilions are dedicated to the participating countries’ agencies and publishing houses of children’s books, and the participating publishing houses, foreign publishing houses, and publishing houses of Arabic books. The Ministry of Culture’s account also broadcast a video referring to hosting more than 50 discussion events on thoughts and literature, more than 100 activities combining entertainment and learning, and 43 workshops that aim to develop passion and enrich skills, making the Fair a combination of the worlds of art, culture, poetry and history. In a thread of tweets on the Fair, the Ministry noted that the United States of America will be the guest of honor for this year edition, allowing for the opportunity to learn about American intellectual works, in addition to the cultural events scheduled in the Fair that meet the search needs for knowledge and urge reflection on new works driving knowledge towards new horizons to enlighten humanity. In this context, the present edition of the Fair will be the culmination of the events of the Cultural Year Qatar-USA 2021, which witnessed a variety of exhibitions, festivals and bilateral artworks exchanges of events throughout the year, ranging from art galleries, cultural programs and various activities; reflecting the objectives and aspirations of the Cultural Years Initiative, including the promotion of cultural and artworks exchange and the affirmation of renewed commitment between Qatar and the United States of America to deepen mutual understanding, support dialogue among different cultures, and strengthen relations between the two countries; with emphasis on mutual cooperation and shared visions.
Doha International Book Fair is organized by the Ministry of Culture represented by Qatar Cultural and Heritage Events Center. The present edition in particular is considered important as it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Fair, the first of which was held in 1972 by Dar Al Kutub Al Qatariya (Qatar National Library) where it used to be held every two years but since 2002 it has been held every year. The Fair has gained international reputation after its success in attracting the largest and most important publishing houses in the world; where it reached 20 in number in the first edition until the number increased to about 437 publishing houses in the present edition. Similarly, the number of foreign publishing houses reached 45 houses, while the number of Arab publishing houses reached 319; in addition to the number of agencies which amount to 155. The publishing houses of children’s books, further, increased throughout years to reach 73 publishers in this edition which welcomes 37 participating countries.