Saturday, September 23, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 7, 1445 H
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Riding out pandemic with reading

COVID-19 in many ways has brought about a newer interest in books and perhaps writing as well
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The Muscat International Book Fair is back after the break due to the pandemic. The 10-day event looks all set to make up for the lost year. The pandemic in many ways has brought about a newer interest in reading books and perhaps writing as well.

“Muscat book fair grows every year in terms of quantity and quantitative also. We feel it is the prime cultural event in Oman especially with its absence during the pandemic period in fact the publishing industry itself had to postpone events. We expect good participation from publishers and the public,” Maimuna al Sulaimani, founder of Law and Life Library. According to her these ten days are extremely important for networking, “This is the time to meet up with cultural organisations, publishers from Oman and abroad, secondly it is important to come to deals for a whole year until next year to see how successful we are in terms of attracting more publishers to become their agents and distributors in Oman.”

Among the notable titles in the expo are those by Khamis Ali al Moharbi, a renowned photographer. ‘His Oman — Arabia’s paradise,’ ‘People of Oman’, ‘Oman — Rhymes from the Sky’ are available at the pavilions of Ministry of Information, University of Nizwa, Al Roya and Al Dhamry Library.

The Royal Oman Police has its presence at the book fair with the pavilion filled with specialised books as well as attractive books introducing children to be good citizens.

Throughout these there would be launching and signing of books. Mariam al Rashdi will be signing her book in Arabic, ‘In the darkness of the silence,’ on Sunday.

Her story is about a mother who turned her pain into a positive act after her son was diagnosed with Autism. She did not believe her doctors instead she believed in her child and started a programme in Doha for people with Autism and Cognitive disabilities. Her story needs to be heard because the number of children diagnosed with Autism has been growing.

“The book looks at what mothers go through the period of denial and when they get this shock. They will wonder about what is the right way to go about. My son is 22 years old and he plays the piano, he has overcome lot of the autism symptoms. We have achieved a lot and I am proud of it. Keep in mind, God has given me another son with autism who is now seven years old. But this story is about my oldest child. My second child’s journey might be the second book,” said Mariam al Rashdi, author.She will be signing her book in Arabic, ‘In the darkness of the silence,’ on Sunday.

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