News ID: 252199
Published: 0230 GMT May 01, 2019

Foreigners surprised by Iranians enthusiasm for Tehran International Book Fair

Foreigners surprised by Iranians enthusiasm for Tehran International Book Fair

By Sadeq Dehqan & Hamideh Hosseini

Iranian people and publishers highly welcomed the 32nd Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF) despite imposed sanctions on Iran and its financial consequences.

The international section of the exhibition has been always one of the attractive sections of the event which paves the way for further international interactions.

Italian scholar Giacomo Longhi who is responsible for Italian pavilion said that TIBF is a great exhibition and is displaying vast variety of books from all over the world.

Longhi is participating at Tehran fair for the sixth times, he has translated Iranian writer Mostafa Ensafi’s novel ‘You Will Return to Isfahan’ as well as Mahsa Mohebali’s ‘Don’t Worry’ and Mohammad Toloei’s short stories, ‘Made in Denmark’.

He said, Iranians not only welcome domestic publishers, but also pay attention to foreign books and authors, noting that Iranians are not narrow minded and they think beyond their country's borders.

Although sanctions put a lot of pressure on economic situation of people, Iranians did not remove books from their shopping and eagerly participate in book fair, he said.

Publishers’ problem of procuring paper due to inadequate supplies also created an unpleasant atmosphere for them but they are presenting their various cultural products as previous years, he said.  

Commenting on Italian pavilion, he said two publishers are active in terms of translating Iranian books to Italian and are putting their products on display.

Founded by Bianca Maria Filippini, Persian language professor at Turin University, and two Iranians, Ponte33 Publication has published 11 Iranian novels so far.

Brioschi is the second Italian publisher which aims to introduce non-European countries in Italian language. It has translated five Persian novels into Italian language so far.

Translation of Iranian books will be of high interest to Westerners, because they have been locally produced and reading them familiarizes the audience with Iran and its social and cultural aspects from an Iranian point of view.

According to Longhi, Persian literature is one of the most important ones in the world and it is the land of great literary figures including Ferdowsi, Hafez, Attar and Khayyam.

Speaking about Iran’s contemporary books, he said there would definitely be such great works among the recent ones, but the passage of time will tell us which one would last for a long time.

Compared to European countries, Iranian population is fairly young and most of its writers are under 40 and consequently its literature is also young and new.

However, people prefer to choose famous works and are to some extent uncertain about young authors. But they should keep in mind that great authors like Mahmoud Dowlatabadi and Simin Daneshvar were one day young.

The representative of Hellenic Foundation for Culture in Iran Katerina Balamoti also called Tehran book fair a great cultural event in which all walks of life can find their favorite works.

The foundation is working under the auspices of Greece Culture ministry and has branches in 10 countries including Iran, Russia, Egypt, Germany, Italy and the UK. It aims to promote Greek culture and language in terms of literature, philosophy, mythology and theater.

In 32nd round of the fair, the foundation is displaying books about Greek heroes and myths for Iranian children, he said, mythical part of their culture is of high significance to them.

Iran’s contemporary literature, however, is not so much known in Greece due to the lack of translation of these works, he said, noting that among contemporary works, Iran’s cinema and visual arts are better known in the country.

Head of Exhibition Department at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture of the Sultanate of Oman Ahmed al Rawahi said that Tehran book fair is annually held with higher quality than previous years.

Compared to other international book fairs, TIBF also attracts larger number of participants and publishers.

Oman is participating in the event to promote its ties with Iran, he highlighted, noting that this is the second year Oman is present in the fair with 70 book titles about Oman’s history, manuscripts, language and literature, religious beliefs and traditions.





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