The activities of the 22nd session of the Baghdad International Book Fair kicked off this morning, with wide participation from Arab and foreign publishing houses, and will last for 10 days amid strict preventive measures due to the outbreak of the Corona pandemic.
The activities of the new session will be held on the grounds of the Baghdad International Fair under the slogan “The Book is a Homeland”, with the participation of more than 200 Iraqi Arab and foreign publishing houses from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Emirates, Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey and Germany, and presents new publications and titles in various fields of science, knowledge, literature and the arts. . Read also The first Arab university..Al-Musicianship school in Baghdad awaits the conquest and the list of heritage The House of Wisdom… the early engine of the golden age of Islamic civilization
Among the most prominent publishing houses participating in the exhibition are Dar Al-Qanadeel, Meaning, Pages, Al-Maarif, Al-Talia, Al-Saqi, Al-Arabi, Dar Alka, the Iraqi Scientific Academy, the Egyptian Madbouly Library, and others.
The exhibition days will witness cultural events, book signing parties, poetry evenings, artistic events, seminars and dialogue sessions with Arab and foreign novelists and thinkers.
Waguih added that the Corna pandemic affected all aspects of life, including book fairs, but this did not affect the mass turnout. With the application of social distancing, wearing masks and using disinfectants, visitors moved between the corridors of the exhibition and went out carrying bags containing books and other exhibits.
Journalist and writer Muhammad Al-Bassem supported what Wajeeh said that Iraq – along with other countries – has overcome the danger of Corona, and it does not seem that the demand for the exhibition will be affected with the commitment to the partial preventive ban imposed by the Iraqi authorities.
Al-Bassem believes that the Baghdad exhibition in its new version will be one of the most important exhibitions, and will witness more demand than the past years due to the stifling psychological conditions that the Iraqi cultural situation has experienced during the past period due to the Corona virus.
He believed that the book market needs to recover again, as it faced during the last stage a major setback due to the curfew policies and the prevention of movement between Iraqi cities.
The prestige of Baghdad has not disappeared and its overwhelming presence has not been hidden among Arab intellectuals who know its value since its founding until today, as the Syrian poet and journalist Hani Nadim tells Al Jazeera Net.
Nadim said that Baghdad “despite what it has gone through during the past decades of civil collapse, wars and smoke, it has never lost sight of culture and its movement as a productive cultural laboratory.” He expressed his happiness for holding the Baghdad International Book Fair despite all these circumstances, and that this is direct evidence of “the close connection between Baghdad and the production of thought.”
This year, the fair attracts books by a selection of the most prominent international writers and authors, prestigious publishing houses and creators from around the region and the world.
The Egyptian writer Yasser Thabet stressed that the Baghdad exhibition has its weight and weight in the balance of the Arab book fairs, and that “the reader in Iraq always has an interest to the point of insatiable with everything that is new and useful in the world of culture and knowledge.”
Thabet added, “One of my books that I am fortunate to have in the Baghdad exhibition is the book (Maqamat al-Ruh: A Guide to the Arabic Song), issued by the House of Lines and Shadows in Jordan,” noting that the book deals with issues related to Arabic music, ancient and modern, and re-reads files such as theater. Lyric and history lay the foundations of oriental music.
Iraqi writer Rusli al-Maliki believes that the exhibition is a reflection of a positive image of the cultural movement in Iraq and a permanent annual shift, stressing that the exhibition introduces the Arab world to the fact that there are people who read and write, that there is a thriving book trade and a movement of authorship, translation and publishing, and that the capital, Baghdad, has restored its prestige before the rest of the nations.
A member of the medical and media team in the Iraqi Ministry of Health, Dr. Ruba Falah, confirmed that there is high-level coordination between the Ministry of Health and the relevant authorities organizing the exhibition to implement precautionary and preventive measures such as social distancing and wearing masks, and others, noting that the establishment of such a cultural gathering came after the approval of the Supreme Committee for Health and Safety national in the country.
For its part, the exhibition management took strict preventive measures by providing masks, as well as providing smart gates and sterilization devices in the halls, while maintaining social distancing.