33rd  International Book Fair kicks off in Tehran,   170 publishers from 32 countries participating in event

33rd International Book Fair kicks off in Tehran, 170 publishers from 32 countries participating in event

The first in-person edition of the Tehran International Book Fair was inaugurated on Tuesday evening after two years of lockdowns caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.

“With Reading, We Feel Healthy” is the motto of the 33rd edition of the book fair, which will be running through May 21 at Imam Khomeini Mosalla.

In addition, a virtual edition of the event can be found on ketab.ir.
170 publishers from 32 countries, including Switzerland, India, Hong Kong, Germany, USA, Italy, China and Russia, are participating in the book fair, which is hosting Qatar as its special guest.

“Due to its close cultural relationship with Iran, Qatar was selected as the fair’s special guest, and this exhibition will be a promising beginning of closer cultural collaborations with the country in the future,” Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaeili, said.

He referred to the 2022 Qatar World Cup, which will take place during autumn, and said that the Tehran book fair will organize special programs designed by a cultural committee at the Presidential Office for the major international event. 

Esmaeili said that Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and its Culture Minister Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad bin Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani are scheduled to visit the book fair.

Despite other international book fairs, the Tehran book fair is working as a grand bookstore, where domestic publishers attend every year to sell their books at a discount.

Due to this policy, a number of Iranian platforms for selling books online and publishers have banned the Tehran book fair this year. They argue that this policy would cause too much damage to book sales at other times and may lead to the shutdown of bookstores and platforms. 

Deputy Culture Minister for Cultural Affairs Yaser Ahmadvand has recognized the protest and announced plans designed by the Culture Ministry to support the bookstores and platforms after the end of the book fair.

The 2020 edition of the Tehran International Book Fair, Iran’s most important cultural event, was scheduled to be held in April with Turkey as the guest of honor.

However, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance canceled the fair due to a massive rise in the death toll from coronavirus in the country.

Due to the pandemic, the ministry and the Iran Book and Literature House, the main organizers of the book fair, decided in the end to run the event online.

The online book fair grossed over 640 billion rials (about $2.6 million based on Iran’s free-market exchange rate: $1 = 245,000 rials).

(Source: Tehran Times)

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