(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Joelyn Baluyut |
Participating Embassies showcase their country's' rich history, culture, tourism, and even culinary traditions in this year's Doha International Book Fair, which started yesterday at Doha Exhibition Convention Center.
Among them are Embassies of Palestine, Russia, Italy, France, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Syria, and South Korea. Also, the US Embassy is participating as the guest of honour in the book fair.
Speaking to The Peninsula, Indonesian Ambassador H E Ridwan Hassan said the book fair is an important event especially in digital age.
“During the digital era many people are using digital platforms to read books and get information, but there is always a sense in reading a book physically,where the chem-istry, nuance is different,” he said.It is the first time the Indonesian Embassy is participating in the fair.
“Book is the window of information from one to another place, because every society in the world respec-tively, they have their own culture, way of thinking, story and history, but when we write down our experiences then we can exchange information easily. With that, we will have a better understanding, we can have peace and solidarity,” he added.
The embassy's booth has a collection of 200 books from 30 publishers, this ranges from children's fiction and non-fiction selections. Among the featured books include The Land of Five Towers by A. Fuadi and the Mutiara Inspirasi dari Qatar (The Pearl of Inspiration from Qatar).
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South Korean Ambassador, H E Joon-ho Lee said that he is excited to be part of the book fair. He explained that his coun-try's booth features interactive and traditional games, and also books on Korean culture, culinary, tourism, and children's books which are available in Korean, English and even Arabic languages. H E Lee was referring to the games“Ddak-ji” which is among the games played in the famous Korean series Squid Game. And“Tu ho,” where you throw arrows into a pot, this is most commonly played on a lawn.
The South Korean booth features over 150 books ranging from magazines and books. There is even a“Koreana” Autumn edition where the hit-group BTS is the front cover.
The Russian Embassy, meanwhile, features a col-lection of their classic authors including Aleksandr Pushkin, Ivan Turgenev, Lev Tolstoy, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. According to Russian Embassy Third Sec-retary, Vera Pavlova, they are offering books for kids as well as the classic books. One notable book they have is the mini version of“War and Peace” trilogy by Tolstoy written in Arabic. The United States depicts a different booth with futuristic design.
Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy, H E Natalie A. Baker said they follow the theme of the fair“Knowledge is Light.” She said,“We are focused on pro-moting edu-cation and lit-eracy and space exploration. All of these themes are coming together here in this booth. On the outside, you'll notice there's solar panels, that is to promote sustainability and to demonstrate our commitment to fight climate change, likewise we want to promote cross-cultural edu-cation and awareness to our booth.
”Moreover, she said they also have women empowerment theme as part of the booth; there are about 7,000 books on display from 750 publishers.“This is bringing every aspect of literature to Doha from American society, a lot of these titles are not normally available internationally, this is a great opportunity for those who are coming to the book fair to have the widest variety of options of American literature to purchase and enjoy,“ she said.
“Space exploration is an important part of American history, and we are continuing to promote that especially com-mercial exploration of space now, so that's a theme that we are trying to promote this year. As part of the Year of Culture, we also have science as the key theme. We have a represent-ative from NASA to come out to speak as part of that exchange.” H E Baker added.
At the conclusion of the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture, and as Qatar and US celebrate 50 years of bilateral relations, the US Embassy is participating as the guest of honour for the said fair.
The 31st Doha International Book Fair will run until January 22, it is open from 9am to 10pm daily except on Friday where it will open from 3pm to 10pm.
Pre-registration is needed to be able to enter in the fair through their website 31.dohabookfair.qa
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