Mr. Jassim Ahmed Al-Buainain, Director of the Libraries Department at the Ministry of Culture, Director of the Doha International Book Fair, detailed to media the latest preparations for the 31st edition of the Doha International Book Fair, to be hosted during 13-22 January 2022. He affirmed that work is underway at the Fair headquarters, after all organizational matters have been completed and the workflow plan has been drawn up; noting that the final finishes are on and that some publishing houses have already started functioning on their dedicated pavilions and are currently coordinating and equipping them with publications. He, moreover, pointed out that the Fair headquarters witnessed during the past short period the receipt of a large number of book boxes for the participating publishing houses and distributing agencies, where work is underway by them to have the final touches on their pavilions, and finalization of all arrangements is expected to be done soon.
Regarding the book display spaces that are currently being prepared and his expectations to impress the visitors of the Fair, Mr. Al-Buainain said that 5 zones have been prepared to be cultural cafes in which the public will be able to rest, get drinks and explore some distinguished books. Also, the main theater is currently being prepared to host a number of events and various activities. The media boulevard, from which a special program for Qatar TV will be presented too, will witness a live broadcast and host a number of important cultural figures and literary icons, in addition to a place dedicated to playing music. Mr. Al-Buainain, furthermore, pointed out that there are partnerships with State institutions through the establishment of reading workshops and various cultural events.
On the procedures that the Fair will adopt in order to facilitate and guide visitors while purchasing books and enjoying the various activities of the Fair, Mr. Al-Buainain noted that there will be an internal radio broadcasting in order to provide guidance information and announce the events, in addition to distributing the Fair map to serve its visitors ensure easy access to the books they are looking for, whether in the children’s book pavilions or foreign book pavilions which are arranged according to the participating countries, with the provision of many digital services that will be available via the Fair’s mobile application or its website; in order to facilitate the visitors’ access and the search for what they want within its zones, and to register to visit the Fair within the framework of the organizational process related to the precautionary measures aimed at preserving the public safety during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Al-Buainain, in addition, affirmed that the present edition comes amid great anticipation from the audience, as the Fair embraces all social groups, ages and languages. In this regard, he said: this edition is gaining special importance and momentum as the Fair has completed fifty years of its establishment since its first launch in 1972, which confirms that it has a long history as it is the first of its kind to be held at the level of the Arab Gulf states; stressing that the State of Qatar continues its endeavors to disseminate culture and knowledge. He also explained that the United States of America will be the guest of honor for this edition of the Fair; in line with the Qatar-USA Year of Culture 2021 where the hosting will witness a presentation of the American culture and highlights of its intellectual works. It is noteworthy that the number of publishers and countries participating in the Fair is (37), while the number of publishers reached (430) as direct outlets; in addition to (90) distributing agencies.