Pakistan News & Features Services
The 23rd Doha International Book Fair 2012 concluded on December 22, after having opened on December 12. As many as 425 publishing houses from 26 countries participated in the annual event.
“The Doha International Book Fair has become an annual and important event in the Arab region,” Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, remarked during a chat with the reporters on the sidelines of the closing ceremony.
He also highlighted the significant role played by the Fair in educating the public and book lovers in the State of Qatar and beyond.
"The exhibition offered a great opportunity for citizens and residents to take advantage of the latest intellectual productions on display,” he said while expressing his admiration with the large participation of Arab and foreign publishing houses. He touched upon the critical issue of the printed book facing significant challenges from the electronic book.
“The increased purchasing power noticed at Doha Fairs each year indicated the tendency to read and learn and proved that the electronic book would not replace the printed book,” Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah believed.
He pointed out that the book fair has witnessed a major turnout and participation of publishers from across the world and added that the event was growing each year.
“I have learned that many of the international publishing houses were willing to participate this year but limited space prevented their participation,” he shared.
The Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP) was recognized for instilling love and motivation for reading and writing at the event. The BQFP set up interactive morning events that were divided into two tracks, specifically catering to children and librarians at the Doha Exhibition Centre.
In order to develop children’s interest in books, issues about local library culture were addressed at the morning workshops.
The BQFP Educational Programmes Developer, Amira Abed organized the workshops that invited independent school librarians to build their skills.
“A major part of our Reading and Writing Development Programme is mentoring librarians in the areas of library development, communication with children and recommending books to them,” he said.
“We explore the use of storybooks in classrooms to develop children’s awareness and reading skills, and to acquire literary richness to improve their writing,” Abed added.
The sessions were a sample of other informative workshops BQFP offer throughout the year with the book fair providing a special opportunity.
Subsequently the BQFP and Maktaba Qatar collaborated on crafting special sessions for school children who were able to enjoy storybooks and get creative with writing activities. During the weekends, dual-language activity sessions led by Maktaba Qatar were also open to the public.