The 26th edition of the Muscat Book Fair has received an overwhelming response from the stalls, countries, authors, and more importantly visitors, which also included a number of school students.
Apart from the participation of over 700 publishing houses and 350,000 titles, the 26th Muscat International Book Fair also conducted several debates and dialogues during this period.
The fair witnessed a number of signing ceremonies by various authors including Hussein Nahabah Khalaf, Sharifa al Tawbia, and Aziza al Taei.
Young Omani writer, Ammar al Naaimi, has come out with a book that has been well received at the book fair.
"This is an Omani book on the lines of Harry Potter and it is called Sarim. Written for those aged 15 years and above, the book is about an adventure that took place in 2019. How two kids protected Omanis from a jini with special powers. We want our culture to flourish and spread it through stories," she said.
Expatriate writer Sulatha Francis introduced two books written by her while Jane Jaffer presented 'Raifi’s Amazing Dinosaur Adventure.'
Other writers who launched their books were Amal Bint Anwar al Lawati, Nargis al Shezawiya, Muhammad al Ajmi, Yasser al Bahri, Ahmed al Rashidi, Amal Fakhri, Dr Hamad bin Mahmoud al Ghafri, Nahaba, Abdel Nasser al Abri, Dr Muhammad bin Abdullah al Fazari, Soraya bint Hammoud al Busaidi, Rana bint Hamdan al Dawyaniya, and Amal al Sanoubi.
Speaking to the Observer, P M Shoukath Ali, managing director of the participating stalls, said, "This book fair is one of the biggest events to be held in the country as part of the strategy to co-exist with the Covid-19 pandemic. The visitor response exceeded our expectations and on certain days, we get a feeling it has crossed the mark of 100,000 visitors a day."
He said the most positive message from this exhibition has been the enthusiasm shown by the budding authors, especially Omani writers, to write books. "What surprised me is the knowledge that youngsters today have about books and authors, especially when the older generation accuse of them of shying away from reading habits.