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June 2018, No. 87


Book Fair

Tehran Book Fair Attracts Publishers from 50 Countries

The 31st edition of Tehran International Book Fair, Iran’s most important cultural event, was inaugurated May 2, 2018 without the presence of President Hassan Rouhani who is ritually in charge of inaugurating the event. No reason was given for his absence!

As per tradition, the event goes under way at the capital’s Imam Khomeini Grand Prayers Ground or the Mosalla named after the Founder of the Islamic Republic. This year’s expo ran from May 2-12.

Tehran International Book Fair has turned into a landmark book fair in Middle East and Asia after holding 30 editions in a row. Every year in May, an average of 2,500 domestic and 600 foreign publishers participate in the event. The foreign publishers substantially offer their materials in English or Arabic however titles in French, German, Chinese, Korean or Japanese are also available.

In the TIBF event last year, nearly $38 million worth of books were sold.

The 31st TIBF was inaugurated in the presence of Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Abbas Salehi and Serbian Minister of Culture and Information Vladan Vukosavljević.

Serbia was this year’s Guest of Honor and Tunis was the guest city; publishers from Germany, China, Italy, Oman, Hungary, Austria, Russia and Iraq had their stands at the book fair.

Iran was the guest of honor at the 61st Belgrade International Book Fair in 2016. Some 100 Persian titles have so far been translated into the Serbian language. Serbia publishes 7 to 8 million titles each year.

Covering an area of 130,000 square meters, over 2,000 domestic publishers and 132 foreign publications put as many as 515,000 book titles on display in this year’s edition of TIBF.

Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohsen Javadi told Iran Book News Agency (IBNA) that a record 400-plus publishers from 50 countries attended the book fair.

Representatives of international cultural bodies also participated in the event.

Writing about the book fair’s significance, Iran’s official IRNA news agency wrote, “Public diplomacy and cultural diplomacy, which forms part of the former, enjoys a niche in today’s world.”

“In effect, through cultural diplomacy, a given country’s cultural capabilities and successes are leveraged as an advantage on the political and international arenas,” it added.

“Here, books form a subdivision that entails a certain description and has and will continue to have great impact,” the agency noted.

Tehran-based English language daily Kayhan International also wrote, “Iran, which is one of the ancient centers of civilization going back several thousand years, has a rich heritage of printed books and manuscripts, many of which are rare and nowhere to be found in the world, especially the Arabic and Persian collection that is eagerly sought by researchers from other countries.”

“This annual fixture affords an opportunity for the acquaintance of the young generation with the latest publications in Iran and abroad, as well as familiarity with the heritage of the past,” it added.

Book on Persian Impact on English Literature Introduced in Tehran

“Persian Literary Influence on English Literature”, a book by Persian scholar Hassan Javadi, was introduced during the 31st Tehran International Book Fair.

The book has been published by SAMT, an Iranian publisher that provide books for university students, while the English version of the book was published by the US-based Mazda Publishers in 2005.

A number of scholars attended a meeting SAMT organized to introduce the book and SAMT director Ahmad Ahmadi and scholar Nahid Hejazi from the Academy of Persian Language and Literature elaborated on the book.

“The Persian language is like a big caravan, which has had great influences over history and is readily observed in the literature of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan,” Ahmadi said.

In this book, Javadi, a former professor at the University of Cambridge and the University of California at Berkeley, presents a survey of the subject often mentioned in many stories of English literature.

Students of that literature know about “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” through the translation of the English writer Edward Fitzgerald, but many are unaware of the fascination that the East, including Persia, has exercised over European minds, the author writes in this book.

 

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