Qatar displays hundreds of new titles at Oman book fair
February 21 2019 09:41 PM
A view of the HBKU Press stand at the Muscat International Book Fair.
A view of the HBKU Press stand at the Muscat International Book Fair.

Qatar is having extensive participation in the 24th edition of Muscat International Book Fair which features 882 publishers from 30 countries.

The participation of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and a number of Qatari publishing houses comes within the framework of the Ministry's keenness on exchanging experiences between the Doha International Book Fair and the Muscat event, the Qatar News Agency reported.

Qatar is represented by the Libraries Department of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, in co-operation with Lusail Publishing House.

The Qatari pavilion which opened on Wednesday presents a wide range of literary, historical, cultural and intellectual publications, as well as the Ministry's periodicals and the publications of the Qatari publishing houses.

The Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) is also participating in the book fair for the second consecutive year with a booth showcasing the newest releases, according to a statement.

“HBKU Press is bringing over a hundred new titles to readers in Oman which validates our commitment to act as a platform for local Qatari and Arab talent and our commitment to help facilitate the dissemination of local narratives to different regions across the Gulf and beyond,” Rima Ismail, Outreach and Special Projects manager at HBKU Press, said in the statement.

Dr Nasser al-Mohannadi will give a talk today detailing his 28 years of preparation and training that led him to become one of the first Qataris ever to complete a full Ironman race which is the topic of his best-selling book, How to Be an Ironman.

Popular Qatari children’s author Muneera Saad al-Romaihi is one of many Qatari authors whose books will be available at the fair. Her fourth book, Monsters are Afraid of Mama, stars a ‘supermom’ character who explains away simple childhood fears in a way that will have both parents and children alike sleeping soundly at night with all fear assuaged.

The works of established Qatari authors Jameela Sultan Almass al-Jassem (The Riyal’s Journey and The Ant Teacher), Sheikha al-Zeyara (The Sultan of the Sea and The Farmer Who Saved The Village) and first-time Qatari author Faten Al-Sulaiti (Hairy Mary), will also be available for the first time in Muscat.

Horticulturalists will enjoy a stunning new series by Qatari author Shuaa Abdullah al-Sada titled Gardening in Arabia, that takes an in-depth look at the various trees and fruiting plants unique to the Arabian Gulf region. Available in both English and Arabic, the books provide the scientific name of every tree and plant, along with their English names, a full description of the plant’s characteristics, and useful advice on where, when and how to cultivate them in your own garden, and how to treat their most common pests and diseases.

The Gulf Crisis: The View from Qatar takes an insider look at arguably the most pressing issue in the region where 15 Doha-based scholars and experts offer insider accounts of the ways the blockade has influenced Qatar’s economy, politics, and society; how it has impacted on regional and international diplomatic, security, and strategic relations; and how it has been covered in traditional and social media outlets.

“In addition to providing a platform for local narratives, HBKU Press is committed to translating best-selling and critically-acclaimed works from around the globe into Arabic in an effort to create channels of cross-cultural communication and the to contribute to the knowledge economy,” Ismail added.

Newly available at the Muscat International Book Fair are the translations of 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature winner Kazuo Ishiguro’s collection of work. Ishiguro’s translated Arabic titles include An Artist of the Floating World, The Remains Of The Day (1989, winner of the Booker Prize), When We Were Orphans (2000, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Buried Giant (2015, which was a #1 UK bestseller), and a book of stories, Nocturnes (2009).

Additionally, Khaled Hosseini fans will want to stop by the HBKU Press booth to grab their copy of his latest, critically-acclaimed book Sea Prayer, a hauntingly-illustrated narrative written as a letter from a father to his son on the eve of their sea voyage to escape their war-torn homeland. The story, which has already sold millions worldwide, is available in Arabic exclusively from HBKU Press.

HBKU Press’s booth represents over nine years of the publishing house’s catalogue of acclaimed works and innovative publications.

The Muscat International Book Fair, launched in 1992, has contributed to the cultural movement in Oman by developing into the country’s foremost cultural exhibition and a landmark cultural, intellectual and literary forum in the region.

More than 523,000 titles are being displayed and posted on the website, of which 35% are new releases, the Fair management said, adding that there will be also 106 cultural events this year compared to 64 last year, 22 of which will be on the Governorate of Al Buraimi.

The exhibition runs until March 3.

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