Monday 22 April 2024

Image courtesy: ONA

27th Muscat International Book Fair to begin on Feb 22

MUSCAT, February 14, 2023

The 27th edition of Muscat International Book Fair will kick off on February 22 to run for 11 days at Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre under the patronage of Sayyid Hamoud Faisal Al Busaidi, Minister of Interior.

“The Governorate of South Al Batinah will be honorary guest of the 27th version of the book fair and will carry out a number of cultural, technical and artistic activities,” Sayyid Said Sultan Al Busaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth for Culture, Deputy Chairman of the organizing committee of Muscat International Book Fair, was quoted as saying in an Oman News Agency (ONA) report.

He added that artificial intelligence will be used in this year’s edition of the book fair, notably to analyse various data about the guests and accompanying programmes, noting that the book fair will include a Bahraini cultural week.

The book fair will provide a number of cultural halls, like Ahmed Bin Majid Gallery, Al-Farahidi Gallery, Ibn Dureid Gallery and Al-Awtabi Gallery.

Al Busaidi pointed out that the book fair will also host a group of prominent intellectuals and media professionals, in addition to directors of GCC and Arab book fairs and the Chairman of the Arab Publishers Union.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Said Al Balushi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, Chairman of the Book Fair’s Media Committee, said: “Various media programmes will be conducted during the book fair, which will also host media professionals and scholars who influenced Arab literary life.”

He explained that, though freedom of expression is guaranteed by law, publications that compromise national or religious values are not welcomed in the book fair.

Ahmed Saud Al Rawahi, Director of Muscat International Book Fair, said that this year’s edition of the book fair will showcase the publications of 826 publishing houses from 32 countries.

As many as 533,063 titles and publications will appear at the book fair, he added.

He further said that the number of Omani publications at the book fair stands at 22,950 alongside 5,900 fresh publications, in addition to 204,411 foreign books and 260,614 Arabic books.

The event will also see 165 cultural events and 166 children’s activities—all to come up in 1,194 pavilions, Al Rawahi added.

A special corner will be dedicated to Omani authors and publications, including those written in Zanzibar, Arab countries or European countries.

Events to be held in conjunction with Muscat International Book Fair, including a Children's Corner where an area has been allocated for family activities, a theatre, scholarly theses and reading corners and workshops. This is in addition to the establishment of cultural cafes in a number of pavilions.

Authorities having expertise in the book industry will participate in the book fair, while authors will sign their respective publications.

The book fair will provide an electronic application and a mobile catalogue. It will also promote volunteering activities to offer an opportunity to hone the skills of interested segments.

A corner will be allocated to signing cultural and literary publications. The management of the book fair provided electronic payment solutions at all its participants' platforms in coordination with a local bank.

In the morning periods, the book fair’s management is dedicating special days for visitors, including students, women and schoolgirls.


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