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Get to know Gulf better - at World Book Fair


Thursday, February 04, 2010 03:29:31 PM, IANS

Rare books on Islam, Buddhism a hit at South Asian stalls: Works on Islam and Buddhism are a big hit at stalls put up by publishers from South Asian countries at the World Book Fair here. Many avid book readers and  ....Read Full

New Delhi: Displaying books on Islam and informational pamphlets, state-run publishers from the Middle East are hoping to increase awareness about the region in India through the World Book Fair.


The Sharjah government has put up a big stall in Hall 7A of the Pragati Maidan fair grounds, set aside for foreign participants. The fair, which has 1,200 Indian and foreign publishers showcasing their books, will come to a close Feb 7.


Most of the books are Arabic language publications by the department of culture and information, which include books on culture, as well as informational pamphlets. However, all of them are for display.


Their aim is not just to showcase their products, but to invite Indian participation to the Sharjah international fair in October-November this year. The book fair is apparently the brainchild of the Emirate's ruler, Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi, who has been insistent on improving the knowledge quotient of citizens.


Showing a book written by the ruler, termed "Knowledge Without Borders", a stall employee who identified himself as Shafi said: "He has even started a scheme to give 50 books to locals."


The Kuwaiti stall has similar government publications on display, and is giving out some glossy books on the Gulf state for free to interested visitors. "Our aim is to increase awareness about Kuwait," said the stall attendant, who did not want to be identified.


Just opposite the Sharjah stall, Saudi Arabia has an impressive presence, with nearly eight government institutions putting their publications on display.


"We have books from King Abdul Aziz Publications to that from state libraries and universities, as well as copies of the holy Quran," said Akbar Mahful, an attendant at the stall, waving towards the neatly displayed books emblazoned with Arabic script.


But, as with most foreign participants, they were all for display.


"We do get a lot of queries for sales, with readers disappointed that the books are just for display," he said.









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