Saturday, December 05, 2015
Doha International Book Fair
Today I went to the Book Fair at the Qatar National Convention Centre. The fair is on until the 12th but given how crazy traffic can be on workday evenings I figured this would be my best chance to see it without getting stuck in gridlock.
To get there you have to go past the enormous spider sculpture they have in the hall. It’s an unusual piece and it creeps me out. Guess better that it’s here than freaking people out at the airport.
The Fair is huge! This picture isn’t even all of it.
So I spent a lot of time wandering the aisles. Tons and tons of books were available. A lot of people were there and some booths were pretty busy.
Most of the books were in Arabic but you could find English books here and there, both fiction and non-fiction. Kids books and educational toys were plentiful, even some classics.
A couple of stores even sold manga, which is something I don’t recall seeing at the previous Fairs.
As it was Qatar-Turkey cultural year there were some large booths dedicated to Turkey, where I got some free literature of excerpts from Turkish poems and literature. They even had some actors looking like classical Turkish scribes.
It took a while but I managed to find what I was looking for, an English translation of the Abu Dawud hadiths. Sunni Muslims generally follow six collections of hadiths and I had summaries of the two most important ones (the al-Bukhari and the al-Muslim) so I wanted to find the third most important. It’s five volumes though so it’ll take some time to peruse through. Maybe I’ll save some of it for my Ramadan reading.
What more can I say? The Fair is a good place to stock up on some books, even English ones. Given there aren't a lot of good bookstores in Doha this might be your chance to find something nice.