Total Devolution of the 31st Tehran International Book Fair to Private Sector

2017-05-14 08:40

While appreciating all people in charge of and involved in the 30th Tehran International Book Fair, the Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance said, “Today, in the presence of those involved in publishing industry, it is officially announced that this year the key of the book fair is delivered to the publishing associations. Our official policy is to devolve each and every cultural affair to the private sector.”
Announcing this, Seyyed Reza Salehi Amiri, emphasized, “I hope that 2017 will see total devolution of the Tehran International Book Fair as well as other book fairs all around the country to the private sector. Of-course, this is not a defiance of the supporting duty of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. We will still keep supporting the publishing associations, authors, publishers as well as the bookstores. This decision is based on the very thought that was promised to the publishing community in the beginning of this government, which in turn, is a beginning to the devolution of many other executive responsibilities.”
Stating that the TIBF is the cultural spring for books, book reading and publishing economy, he added, “The book fair is a cultural event at a national level and more than just a fair. In this book fair, a collection of cultural activities is formed. It is the most unblemished cultural activities and we believe that the government should not have any intervention in its organization.”
Salehi Amiri regarded the TIBF as a cultural discourse and said, “Books themselves are a symbol of cultural discourse. We must read books and encourage the others to book reading so that we have a community of humanistic and wise characteristics, and in general, a cultural life.”
Pointing out that this year, the book fair hosted 140 foreign publishing agencies, Italy as the Guest of Honor and Istanbul as the Special City Guest, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance said, “What happened in the book fair indicates that Iran is concerned to develop its relationships with the neighboring countries and expand its international communications. Also the book fair is a place to connect authors to publishers, and people to scholars.”
Pointing out to the fact that one component of the TIBF is questioning, he emphasized that, “If questioning is missing a community, thinking in such a community will go underground and the thinkers will go into seclusion. On the other hand, it is in a free atmosphere that thinkers like Allameh Tabatabai and Mottahari emerge. Thinkers have a thirst for questioning while the fanatics are needless of that.”
Salehi Amiri added, “A community in which questioning is missing needs no books. Such a community will face a plethora of social, humane, moral and cultural damages. In a community in which book reading is not a value, we must expect ignorance and foolishness. In such a community, morality will be replaced by immorality; corruption will replace purity; honesty is substituted by lies; darkroom substitutes illumination; and interaction will give its place to confrontation.”
The Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance said, “It is not appropriate for the Islamic Iran and the rich Iranian Culture that the books are shifted to a second priority. All the branches must help so that book reading is promoted as cultural efflorescence without books and publishing industry is impossible.”
Apologizing for all inconveniences that people and publishers suffered from, especially on rainy days, he said, “Having a permanent fair with the necessary infrastructures is something that people and publishers deserve. They must not face any problem attending the book fair. However, the 30th TIBF with its all opportunities and damages is finished now and we must try to resolve all the problems in the 31st TIBF.”