RIYADH – The annual Riyadh International Book Fair opens Tuesday at the new exhibition center on King Abdullah Highway with a selection of a quarter of a million tomes in various languages from 27 countries, supplied by 650 Arab and foreign publishing houses.
The fair will include, for the first time, a section of second-hand books, and the design and layout includes facilities to allow easy access for disabled people.
Abdul Aziz Al-Subeil, Deputy Minister for Cultural Affairs, commented on last year’s controversy over females working at the exhibition, saying: “This year women will be permitted to work at the international exhibition.”
Exhibition organizers have also been coordinating closely with the Hai’a to make sure events run smoothly, he said.
Al-Subeil, speaking at a press conference last week, said that the introduction of new technology had reduced the pressure on the monitoring of books on display. Books previously displayed, the deputy minister said, would not require monitoring other than in the case of new editions, helping to make sure that no books contain violations of a religious, political or moral nature.
“No publishing house has been barred from taking part. Last year’s exhibition was unable to host every publishing house that wished to participate due to a lack of space,” Al-Subeil said.
A special place has been designated for the public to make comments and observations on any of the books on display.
Wednesday and Thursday have been designated to the nation of Brazil – this year’s guest of honor. – Okaz/SG