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Monday, March 8, 2021

PHOTOS: Visitors spoiled for choice at 2015 Doha int’l book fair

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All photos by Navin Sam

The 25th annual Doha International Book Fair has gotten well underway at the Qatar National Convention Center this weekend.

According to photographer Navin Sam, there were a record number of titles this year, though the vast majority of the material on sale was in Arabic.

In addition to new and used books, vendors are selling old manuscripts, maps, electronics, religious texts, children’s titles and other items. A small children’s area is set up for coloring and other activities, and various book talks are being given this weekend.

2015 Doha International Book Fair
2015 Doha International Book Fair

The fair didn’t appear too crowded late yesterday afternoon, but those who plan to stay a while should wear comfortable shoes (QNCC is massive) and may want to pack some snacks.

No food is on sale in the exhibition hall, though there were light snacks available for purchase at small cafes around convention center.

The book fair runs through Jan. 17. From Saturdays to Thursdays, it will be open from 9am to 1pm and from 4pm to 10pm. On Fridays, it will be open from 4pm to 10pm. For more information, see the official website here.

Have you checked out the fair yet? Thoughts?

31 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Can you give a list of censored books this year?

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Get a life

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Althani

Do you know the author?

Grantley
Grantley
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

LOL. Good one!

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

Yeah good one!

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

If he’s suggesting we pick up a copy of “Life” by Keith Richards, I’m pretty sure that will be banned in Qatar. Shame really, because it sounds like it would be an entertaining read:

The book was generally well received by critics, with several commenting on the honesty of the work. Charles Spencer of The Daily Telegraph wrote, “Life offers much more than vicarious thrills. It captures the true spirit of rock and roll, the nitty-gritty of life on the road, and just what it feels like to be a heroin addict who doesn’t know where his next fix is coming from. It also movingly captures Richards’ extraordinary love of music—an even more powerful addiction for him than smack—and perhaps more surprisingly, his manifest destiny as a human being.”[19] Jim Fusilli of the Wall Street Journal said that “Mr. Richards writes with disarming introspection about his childhood, family and fame. And it’s quite likely that no rock musician has ever written so keenly about the joys of making music. With a warm sense of humor and willingness to share his grief, Mr. Richards in “Life” defies almost every public perception about him.” In The Independent, John Walsh commented, “He tells it with complete, reckless, disclosure. Sometimes it sounds like a man ranting into a tape machine; sometimes, in the tidier and more reflective sections, you can detect the hand of his co-writer, James (White Mischief) Fox. But the watchwords of this book are honesty, confessionalism, telling it straight.”

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

too long, didn’t read

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Althani

However seriously a number of books I wanted to read in the last year are banned here. They did not contain romantic bits they were history books! One was about the establishment of early Islam and the fall of the roman and Persian empires as the Islamic conquests spread. Even factual books are banned!

How can you form a considered opinion when you are denied one side of the argument. You live in ignorance

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I don’t love in ignorance, I live in content, Unlike you I’m not a person who constantly feels oppressed and denied, Just because some book fair doesn’t cater to the books I specifically want does not mean I’m banned from the knowledge, With the Internet I got access to whatever I wanna know about, So stop being petty and like I said in the previous comment, Get a life and stop trying to find issues in every single article, You just sound miserable to me, But hey, you can be whatever you want to be 🙂

Bo
Bo
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Can i ask a serious question…
Are books filtered like films at the cinema – could i end up buying a book for a page or two to have been removed because an authority somewhere has deemed it too extreme for my eyes? Or if a book has something disagreeable (even just 1 page) would it not make it into the country anyway?
I’m asking this question for more than just the book fair – i mean like if i was going to go and buy a book from WH SMITH too?

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Bo

They don’t remove pages, but offensive images have (in the past at least) been blacked out.

I saw a children’s book where one character (I think it was a pig) had been covered over with thick black marker.

Actually, come to think of it I have seen in magazines the final pages ripped out, where the ads are. It was in a fitness magazine and I guess whatever was on those pages showed a bit too much flesh.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Bo

I know international magazines have pages ripped out, not sure about books though.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Bo

As far as I am aware of the book has questionable content it is just banned.

Magazines have pages taken out or a big black marker is used.

Grantley
Grantley
6 years ago
Reply to  Bo

Ladies magazines have thick black marker around the bikini line and cleavage of models. I feel like taking them back and asking for a refund since they have defaced the magazine. I mean, heaven forbid, I would see a woman’s bikini line or cleavage. Like I don’t have one myself. Honestly.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

They are saving you from your uncontrollable lust.

You would think they could be more imaginative and draw a abaya and hijab on these ladies

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Perhaps we could have a book license whereby expats can purchase non censored books.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Maybe tied to QDC so we can pick up our Peppa Pig books for our kids with our wine

KK
KK
6 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

and Piglet has been banned as well (this is no joke)…

Grantley
Grantley
6 years ago
Reply to  KK

I know. And Peppa Pig too!

KK
KK
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

The Minister of Culture will be able to help you out.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Peppa Pig for a start…Charlottes Web….Shaun the Sheep as he battles with the pigs….You should be happy you don’t have to be confronted with such horrible images…that millions and millions of CHILDREN see every single day with no ill effect on their mental health!!! Be happy you are censored and stop whining or snorting.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Well Animal Farm should be compulsory reading

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

it is always the majority of books in Arabic, great for Arabic readers, not for us!
That’s why I stopped going long time ago. Buy on Amazon, or go to Dubai where there is one of the biggest bookstores in the world…no need for a book fair!

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Oh no! I don’t understand Arabic, So there shouldn’t be a book fair!

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Althani

I hate to put words in someone else’s mouth, but I think the point full moon is trying to make is that in Dubai, where there exists that absolutely MASSIVE bookshop in Mall of Dubai (one of the best bookshops I’ve ever set foot in) there is no need for an annual book fair. You can simply buy good quality books 365 days a year.

Yes it’s great that there is a book fair, but what would be even better would be a book store even half the size of the Dubai branch of Kinokuniya.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

There actually is a Kinokuniya stall set up next to the Japanese embassy booth at the book fair. And we found a fair amount of English-language books for kids and adults in and around that area.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

I love kunokunya just like you, But face it, Just because a book fair in Qatar only has Arabic books does not mean ‘ There shouldn’t be a book fair’ it just means that the stuff is in Arabic, Sucks but crying over spilt milk won’t get you anywhere

Oracle
Oracle
6 years ago

Excuse me, what “choice” are we talking about here? I attended the fair and agree that the number of participants was greater than last year. But, if we look for quality of books – very basic. Moreover, some participants were only displaying their books without allowing even to touch them 🙂

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Oracle

I agree, It’s so basic

Thehel
Thehel
6 years ago

We also have some great English language titles available at the Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation stall – C47.

dd
dd
6 years ago

I think its great that there is a book fair and i’m excited about going, whether the books are in english or Arabic doesn’t matter. some people might have forgotten that this is an Arabic country so it makes sense that more books are in English Duh! True that there are not many book stores in Qatar but the book fair is a good start! and if you don’t find books in your language, try to get a kids arabic book for fun and learn some arabic for a change!

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