Tehran’s biggest annual cultural event held amid ‘paper crisis’

Al-Monitor | : Organizers of the 32nd Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF) have set the stage for the Iranian capital’s greatest annual cultural event, despite the ongoing paper crisis that has afflicted domestic publishers, and the devastating recent floods that led to the closure of dozens of libraries across the country.

The 10-day TIBF will, nonetheless, kick off April 24 in Tehran’s Mosalla prayer ground, and members of the TIBF’s policy-setting council have picked the motto “Reading is ability” for the high-profile cultural event. But how costly is reading in sanction-stricken Iran?

In an Iranian New Year (Nowruz) meeting with the Publishers’ Board of Directors, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Abbas Salehi called for “creative ideas to boost the publication economy.” The minister who stressed that the fair should be used as “an opportunity to make people hopeful about the future” is certainly aware of the challenges currently facing the creators of books at every level.

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