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Kuwait Book Fair remains attractive despite digital information dominance

Saadia Mefreh
Saadia Mefreh
By Wajd Al-Mutairi KUWAIT, Nov 25 (KUNA) -- Kuwait Book Fair has attracted a large number of people following a two-year hiatus, manifesting unwavering interest in seeking knowledge from paper pages in spite of the largely dominating digital information means.
The restored annual event, a festival for the booklovers (also called bookworms), has been largely facilitated by the unprecedented initiative by Minister of Information Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi who relieved the participating publishing houses of fees' burden.
At the fair ground in Mishref, on the southern outskirts of Kuwait City, the parking lots have been teeming with vehicles, and the inner divided halls have been crowded with visitors, inquiring or buying books to satisfy their thirst for reading from paper pages, the conventional way of reading that had been widespread for thousands of years in mankind's history.
Although the digital media has spread widely with a torrent of information, publications and cultural products, the "book has retained its special delight for the booklovers and the (Kuwait) fair has maintained its effective role in this respect, amid the presence of a large number of publishing houses," said Dr. Mohammad Al-Faili, the renowned Kuwaiti legal expert in remarks to KUNA.
Dr. Al-Faili has indicated that like many people nowadays he has been seeking information via the digital means. "However, reading books carries special pleasure and after all, this is kind of a festival is not merely an exhibition," said Dr. Al-Faili, interviewed by KUNA at the fairground.
Saadia Mefreh, a writer and media consultant, told KUNA she was deeply delighted that the advance censorship was lifted, for the first time. She also thanked Minister Al-Mutairi, also the Minister of Culture and the Minister of State for Youth Affairs, for relieving the participating publishing houses of paying rents after undergoing difficult times during peak of the coronavirus.
The Kuwaiti Book Fair was the first to be organized in the Gulf region and the third in the Arab world, she said. "It is a foundation of the Kuwait culture," Mefreh added.
The turnout has been quite high and this is delightful and signals people's thirst for the book, said the composer Abdullah Al-Otaibi.
Amal Al-Abdullah, a renowned media personality, shared her peers the joy for resuming the holding of the fair, thanking the minister for his step.
The fair 45th edition began on November 16 with participation of publishers from 29 Arab and foreign countries. It will close on November 26th.(end) wm.rk