Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Books Banned At Tehran Book Fair

The 23rd Tehran International Book Fair 
which opened officially at the Imam Khomeini Mosalla 
on May 4th will run until May 15. 
The fair is hosting 980 foreign publishers 
from some 90 countries. But not all their books.

Iranian news websites are reporting that only books published since President Mahmud Ahmadinejad took power in 2005 have been allowed to be exhibited at the 2010 Tehran Book Fair, one of the most important cultural events in the Islamic Republic.

The Egypian Pavilion at the book fair was shut down due to danger: One of the books it offered, Arabian Gulf Encyclopedia, was condemned because the Persian Gulf turned into the Arabian Gulf. A person could get confused, and lost at sea. There's a huge gulf between Arabs and Iranians on the subject. Sort of like Americans and Mexicans over the proper name for that pesky body of water we share, the Gulf of the United States.

Most of the books deemed biblio non-grata were those written by the regime’s political opponents, including reformist clerics. The Iran Writers Association said in a statement (in Persian) that a number of prominent publishing houses have been banned from attending the fair and the licenses of several have been cancelled. According to the statement, several exhibiting publishers were also summoned by security officials secondary to offering books offensive to the regime.

Full story at Persian Letters. Photo courtesy Payvand Iran News.


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