Tulips under a male Date Palm, just off Kensington High Street in London,
set the tone for a mix of Arabia and Britain on a visit to
the London Book Fair in Olympia in Kensington.
A surprising number of exhibitors from Arabia had taken stalls at this exhibition. I dropped in on a talk hosted by Omar Al Busaidy for Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation from Dubai. He was discussing publication and authorship by young people with Hazza Al Mansoori , Maryam Al Zarooni and Eman Al Yousef, each of whom have books in print (some English some Arabic).
The trailblazer in Emirati publishing at government level is Sharjah Book Authority, and they had a chic stand along with platefuls of delicious dates and books by Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi.
The Emirates Publishers Association was yet another from the UAE , a bit surprising that each of these occupied separate small stands rather than co-operating to take up a major location.
The final Arabian stand was Hamad bin Khalifa University Press, from Doha Qatar, which were promoting their large range of books .
Its great that the GCC states seem to be promoting their publications internationally, and hopefully make inroads into the UK reading market. Read about my London Book Fair visit – Part 1
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