Muscat: More than 100,000 titles from 150 publishers across 14 different languages, including Arabic, will be featured at the 2019 Book Fest.
Scheduled to run from 24 to 27 April 2019, at the multipurpose hall at the Indian Social Club’s headquarters, the event is being run by the Indian Social Club and the Embassy of India in Oman, in collaboration with Al Bhaj Books.
“We are very happy to organise Book Fest 2019, hosted by the Indian Embassy and the Indian Social Club Muscat,” said Shoukath Ali, general manager for Al Bhaj Books. “This is our second edition of the book fair. We have already arranged for more than 100,000 books from the latest publishers all around the world to be available. Even the latest releases that came out just a week before will be available on our stalls.”
He added: “More than 20,000 people turned up for last year’s event, and this year, the Board of Directors of Indian Schools in the Sultanate of Oman has also lent their support to Book Fest 2019. Circulars have been sent to students of many Indian schools in the Sultanate. More than 150 publishers’ books will be available to visitors, with genres including fiction, non-fiction, motivation and self-help, arts and crafts, cookery, study guides, academic support books and many others, in around 14 languages, including Arabic.”
Dr Sathish Nambiar, Chairman of the Indian Social Club Muscat, said that preparations for this began six months ago, with the agreement of the ministries in Oman.
“We have had to get permission from the Ministry of Information, while the Indian Social Club needed permission from the Ministry of Social Development. We will have the opening on the 24th April at 8:30pm, and Mohammed bin Zubair, and Munu Mahawar will jointly inaugurate the exhibition.”
“Motivational speaker Ali Al Farai will be addressing parents and speakers, and Anuya Phule, a clinical psychotherapist, will be taking a class on the effects of media on the brain” he added. “This will be held as part of the exhibition on Thursday, at 8pm.”
Book Fest 2019 will also honour the 150th anniversary of the birth of India’s father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and as part of the two-year celebration organised by the Indian Embassy, the festival will have events and publications that celebrate him.
100 titles on Gandhi
Nambiar added: “This year, the book fest is being organised with a particular agenda: this is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, and this book fair is part of the general celebrations across the two years in which they are being held. We have arranged to highlight more than 100 titles from various authors in different languages which celebrate Gandhi” said Shoukath Ali. “Another attraction is a five-metre Gandhi oil-painting cut out, and we have a famous artist working on that. Last year was a grand success, and this time we are expecting even more people to come.”
Along with the book fair, there will be some competitions based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, including essay writing, poetry recital, elocution and colouring competitions.
He said: “There is more choice and variety in books than ever, but reading is slowly going out of fashion as a hobby. People are more interested in social media and computer games, so these exhibitions look to bring back the habit of reading.”
By reading, you might attempt writing, and your vocabulary develops much more in a written form than 140-character tweet. This is for every community in Oman. Authors from all over the world will be published in this exhibition.”