Astana Eurasian Book Fair 2024 Kicks Off in Astana 

ASTANA—The Astana Eurasian Book Fair 2024, the seventh international book fair with an extensive five-day program, kicked off at the Congress Center in Astana on April 17 and will run until April 21 

Astana Eurasian Book Fair 2024. Photo credit: Aruzhan Ualikhanova/ The Astana Times

The event brought together approximately 70 companies from countries such as China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Spain, Uzbekistan, and Türkiye. representing publishing, book trading, scientific, educational, and printing industries.

The main goal of the fair is to popularize reading, promote book culture, and showcase the best range of book products from leading publishers. The event served as a platform for studying the experience of the global publishing and printing industry and showcasing achievements in the publishing sphere.

The fair’s five-day program includes presentations of literature novelties, autograph sessions with renowned writers, roundtable discussions on current publishing issues and workshops for both children and adults. 

Since the fair has become an annual event, many publishing houses and countries are participating not for the first time. 

Iran’s stand presenting handicrafts. Photo credit: Aruzhan Ualikhanova/ The Astana Times

“If you want to compare this year’s fair to last year’s, it’s a lot different because this year we have two artists, a lot of books, and something to show,” said Ali Akbar Talebi Matin, Advisor for Cultural Affairs of Iranian Embassy in Kazakhstan.

At the Iran stand, attendees can learn calligraphy and the Persian alphabet and even participate in a quiz with prizes. 

According to Mr. Ali Akbar Talebi Matin, Iran and Kazakhstan have many similarities. For example, there are more than 3,000 words that are similar in the Kazakh and Persian languages. 

Among other local publishing houses, Almaty Kitap annually delights its readers with literature novelties at the exhibition. Last year, they presented “Welcome, Nauryz,” which was published in Kazakh, English, and Russian. 

Almaty Kitap stand at the book fair. Photo credit: Aruzhan Ualikhanova/ The Astana Times

“This year, we have updated the edition of Mukhtar Auezov’s ‘Kokserek.’ Previously, there were no illustrations and pictures. Therefore, we will present this book to our readers for the first time in the school library series,” said Gulnur Kudaibergen, vice president of Almaty Kitap in Astana. 

The Astana Eurasian Book Fair 2024 offers a chance to learn new languages and cultures for those interested. At the stand of Spain, people can participate in Spanish language lectures and quizzes and buy textbooks. 

“Spain has been participating in the Eurasian Book Fair for a couple of years now. What the Spanish embassy wants to communicate here is the importance of learning new languages. Kazakhstan and Spain have not been historically related. That is why it’s important to promote understanding between the cultures in this globalized area,” said Gadea Albaladejo, political attaché from the Spanish Embassy in Astana.

A key event of the fair is the Astana Publishing Fellowship scholarship program, also known as the Professional Meetings of Publishers. This program aims to elevate publishing activities in Kazakhstan from a local to a global scale, allowing publishers to gain international experience and improve the quality of their work. Additionally, the fair will feature the traditional Best Book of the Year competition across various categories.

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