Syrian Minister of Culture Mohammed al-Ahmad said that any book that "touches" the state or society would be withdrawn from the Assad International Book Fair and the book published by him would be held to account.
"We are proud that the book fair in Syria from its inception until its cessation in the early years of the war was a great deal of freedom," Ahmad said at a press conference in Damascus to reveal the details of the 31st edition of the exhibition. "The books on offer were bold in their content and ideas."
He added «the exhibition was previously supervised by the Ministry of Culture fully, but this year was formed a high committee for the exhibition because the cultural work has many ramifications, there are religious books that the clergy are better able to evaluate, and political books, and other books that carry Contents are different, and it is up to the committee to select the appropriate content for the reader ».
"There is no committee in the whole world that can read all the books that will be displayed in the book fair, which are numbering in the thousands, so if any violation is observed that may affect our country or society we will withdraw the book and hold the book published by depriving it of participation in the exhibition starting from its session." Upcoming ».
A total of 237 publishers will present more than 50,000 book titles during the exhibition, held from September 12 to 22 under the slogan "The Book is Mind-Building."
The Ministry of Culture website quoted Iyad Murshed, director general of the Assad National Library, as saying, “We want this session of the exhibition to make the reader an active role, in terms of informing the exhibition management of any content that feels that it harms the Syrian society and its values, and we will hold it immediately.”
For the second year in a row, the exhibition celebrates one of the influential Arab figures in history, and this year chose the poet and philosopher Abu Ala Al-Maari, who will hold a symposium on his life and literature, in addition to display some of the manuscripts maintained by the Assad Library around him.
The program of the exhibition includes poetry evenings, intellectual symposiums and signing ceremonies for modern publications in addition to artistic and entertainment activities, including an exhibition of plastic art and Syrian and international cinema. Participants include Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan, Iraq and Iran.