By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)
KHARTOUM, (Sudanow) – until recently Sudanese may be more inclined to listen to what the Senegalese poet –cum-politician Sedar Senghor called " human library" meaning grandmothers and elderly persons. When one of those falls, a whole library falls. The new generation is saying nay to this and the proof is that more and more young people frequent the book exhibitions as is demonstrated in the most recent book fair in Khartoum. Our reporter was there.
Report by: Abdullah Al Sayed Al Bashir
The Exhibitions Grounds in Burre hosted during October 6-17 the Sixth Session of the Book Exhibition in which more than 150 publishing houses have participated.
The publishers put on display books of a high cultural value with low prices ranging from 50% to 25% of the original cost of the book. The organizing committee made efforts for providing the participants from countries and publishing houses with residence facilities so as to cut down their expenses and thereby cut down the book prices for the Sudanese reader. The organizing committee also made contacts with the authorities concerned for custom exemption of the exhibited publications.
Representatives of the publishing houses, in interviews to SUDANOW, commended the proper organization and preparation of the exhibition as well as the remarkable desire by the Sudanese reader in possessing books.
The Chairman of the organizing committee, Anwar Beshir, speaking to SUDANOW, praised the publishers' participation in the exhibition, noting that publishers from Britain and India contributed by providing all publications, including academic references and dictionaries.
He attributed the proper organization to the accumulated experience over six years since the inception of the exhibition.
Beshir estimated the turn-out at more than 35,000 visitors who he said were willing to buy books despite to the difficult living circumstances, noting that the great demand for books would be taken into consideration in the next sessions.
Hassan al-Sees, the representative of the Tawfiqiyah Bookshop in Egypt, told SUDANOW that this was the second time to participate in the exhibition. This session is the most successive one, considering the big number of the visitors, citing this as evidence of high cultural standard of the Sudanese reader.
Abdul Badea Mustafa, representative of the Arab Encyclopedia House of Lebanon, said it was the third time for his House to participate in the Exhibition. He told SUDANOW that the session was successful by a rate of 95%, attributing this to the high turn-out of the Sudanese people. Mustafa suggested that advertisement of the exhibition should be well ahead of the date of the session to allow institutions sufficient time to include their participation in their budgets and to make plans for purchasing the books from the beginning of the fiscal year.
The Distribution Manager of Jarir Bookshop in Saudi Arabia, Yahia Ahmed al-Hadi, said remarkably large numbers of youths and students from universities and scientific and intellectual institutions have turned out at the exhibition. Hadi told SUDANOW that the books which have recorded the highest sale were those on Islamic jurisprudence, Prophetic biography and Koranic interpretation.
Mohi Ed-Dinn Mohamed, of the Khulud Heritage House in Egypt, speaking to SUDANOW, said it was the second time for his institution to participate in the exhibition. He noted that there was a great demand for religious and cultural books as well as the computer programmes and the purchasing rate was "very" high.
The Representative of the Iranian Ministry of Culture, Abdul Kerim al-Kurmay, commended the session, saying to SUDANOW that his country seeks to strengthen the cultural ties with the Sudan through exchange of books and other publications.
The Turkish Sozlar Publishing Company representative, Mohamed Sherif, told SUDANOW that there was a remarkable development with regards to the preparation and facilities provided by the institutions in charge of organizing the exhibition. He said his company sought to reduce the price by 50% to the Sudanese reader.
The visitors who were interviewed by SUDANOW included Dr. Wisal Hassan Idriss, the Nutrition Division Director at the University of Khartoum, said she had visited the exhibition more than once and that she was pleased with the Sudan organization of such an exhibition. Dr. Idriss said she had seen all previous sessions but this was the most distinguished one.
The exhibition contained numerous books of great value to institutions, organizations, universities, youths and students, even the children had useful publications. She noted, however, that the prices were high.
Visitor Al-Wathiq Noureddaem told SUDANOW that the exhibition was perfect and excellent in relation to the availability of books, references and periodicals.
Edited by Mohamed Osman Adam
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