Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ekushey Book Fair 2009

The Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2009 began at the Bangla Academy on Sunday, 1st February where the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, who inaugurated the fair, declared the adoption of the sign language at state level.

A large number of people visited the fair on the opening day. Visitors had to wait for an hour at the entrance to the fair as the prime minister left almost one hour after the schedule.

‘The turnout was good in the context of the opening day. But the environment was little dusty,’ Osman Gani, proprietor of Agami, said.

About 60 new titles, mostly by prominent publishing houses, hit the fair on the opening day. The organisers on the opening day failed to provide any list of the day’s arrival.

The fair features 460 book stalls of 297 publishing houses. The number of stalls was 362 by 236 publishing houses in the 2008 fair.

The decoration of about 50 stalls could not be completed on the opening day, which is a violation of the fair committee guidelines. The academy’s public relations officer, Murshid Anwar, said, ‘The owners of the stalls could not complete the decoration as the allotment was made Saturday evening. The stalls will open by tomorrow.’

The fair this year has been extended beyond the academy premises, with stalls on both sides of the road stretching between the Institute of Nutrition and Food Sciences and the Atomic Energy Commission. People were frisked at the two points.

Law enforcers were deployed at various points as part of the security measure. Six archways were planned at the entrances to the fair, but on the opening day, the archways were installed at the Bangla Academy gate.

Security officer on duty at the fair said the archways would be installed near the Energy Commission and the institute on the second day.

The month-long fair will remain open to the visitors between 3:00pm and 9:00pm everyday except for public holidays when it will remain open between 11:00am and 9:00pm.

The academy will this afternoon hold a seminar on the studies of languages as part of a month-long series. Monsur Musa will read out the keynote paper and Moniruzzaman, Muhammad Daniul Haque and Kazi Muhammad Oliullah will take part in the discussion.

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