The Ministry of Culture’s exhibit at the Doha International Book Fair is distinguished by its unique and innovative design that has attracted many visitors to the Ministry’s publications. The Ministry’s exhibit is showcasing its recent publications in diverse fields in a contribution to the development of knowledge and the enrichment of Qatar’s cultural production. The exhibit is designed to reflect the Ministry’s motto “Journey of Knowledge” which stems from the 31st Doha International Book Fair’s theme “Knowledge is Light.” The exhibit’s design reflects the connection between knowledge and language as well as calligraphy as can be seen from graphics depicting the evolution of writing systems from hieroglyphics to the modern Arabic script. The graphic design conveys the message that no matter how writing technologies develop and change, language remains the main means of transferring knowledge. The whole exhibit is covered with images related to writing, such as quills, manuscripts, books, and digital boxes, depicting the four stages of writing development: hieroglyphics and stone inscriptions, the early Arabic script without dots, modern Arabic writing styles, and finally digital writing. The interior design of the exhibit also reflects the theme of the fair, as the graphics depict print books, manuscripts, scribes, and traditional writing instruments.
Mohammed Al-Kawwari, Director of the Publications and Translation Administration at the Ministry of Culture, commented that the Ministry’s contribution to the 31st Doha International Book Fair is quite visible and distinguished. Each year, the Ministry ensures that it has an exhibit at this fair which is considered one of the main book fairs regionally and internationally. He added that the Ministry’s exhibit is unique in that half the exhibit is in digital box format which allows visitors to browse the Ministry’s publications electronically, and the other half displays print books. He noted that the Ministry offers diverse types of publications, such as print and digital books, as well as different genres such as novels, poetry, literary criticism in addition to non-fiction. The exhibit also offers a wealth of books translated into different languages, such as Arabic, English, French, Spanish, and Turkish. The Ministry’s exhibit is a collaborative effort with the Public Relations and Communication Administration, the Publications and Translation Administration, the Libraries Administration, the Center of Music Affairs, Wijdan Cultural Center, and the Visual Arts Center.
When asked how this year’s exhibit differs from previous years’, Al-Kawwari explained that this year’s exhibit focuses more on electronic publications. Visitors to the exhibit can download a full collection of over 400 books, which they can read on their phones or other smart devices anywhere free of charge. As for the number of new publications this tear, he commented, “This year, the Publications and Translation Administration has released over 20 new Arabic and English translated books, mostly by Qatari authors.