Amman – More than 45 Jordanian publishing houses, in addition to the Jordanian Writers Association and the Writers Union, participated in the Jordanian Ramadan Book Fair, which was inaugurated by the Minister of Culture, Haifaa Al-Najjar, on Wednesday evening, in the capital, Amman.
The Ramadan exhibition was not limited to books of all kinds, but its halls included displaying popular food, family needs, cosmetic accessories, and others.
According to the distributed program, the exhibition's activities focus on signing ceremonies and children's activities in an attempt to attract families.
A partnership to serve the publishing industry
Minister Haifa Al-Najjar toured publishing houses, and exchanged conversations with publishers about the publishing sector. In her speech to the media – including Al-Jazeera Net – the minister praised the relationship with the Jordanian Publishers Union, which she described as a mission to serve the cultural scene and the publishing industry, and expressed her hope that the Ramadan exhibition would be The Jordanian book is a meeting place for the Jordanian family, to provide books and literature suitable for all age groups, and to follow up on the latest publications in the book industry.
Al-Najjar said that the Jordanian family is a major source for building values and supporting the cultural project, and considered that citizenship is complete with the poet and writer, calling on families to visit the exhibition.
Incentives for publishers.. and the paper book crisis
As for the procedures for organizing the Ramadan exhibition and the incentives offered to publishing houses, Ahmed Al-Yazuri, Vice President of the Jordanian Publishers Association and Chairman of the Culture and Information Committee, said that the Union contributes to the costs of the space required for publishing houses, so the price per square meter does not exceed 10 dinars (about 14 dollars), while the pavilions The Ministry of Culture, the Writers' Association and the Writers' Union are free.
Al-Yazuri indicated – in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net – that publishing the paper book is suffering from a real crisis that hangs over everyone, whether they are publishers, distributors or authors for many reasons, including the economic repercussions of the global and local situation, in addition to an alternative circulation of the paper book through the Internet and multimedia.
The owner of Dar Al-Yazuri Scientific Publishing and Distribution talked about the emergence of e-learning methods in some universities and educational institutions, which allows the student and the reader to view books without the consent of the right holder (author or publisher), in addition to exchanging the e-book between students through social networking sites without awareness of the losses. to the copyright holders.
Al-Yazouri said that the Publishers Union seeks to hold book fairs in the Kingdom's governorates with the aim of encouraging reading and assisting in the continuation of the paper book industry.
Creators and the absence of their rights
In response to a question by Al Jazeera Net about the creators' complaint about the loss of their rights, Dr. Nabil Abu Haltam, head of the Jordanian Publishers Association, said, "There is a contract to be agreed upon between the publisher and the author linked to a certain period of time ranging from one to 3 years that regulates the relationship, where the publisher buys the rights of the book from the author." All rights will be with the publisher in return for a sum of money or a number of copies.
Abu Haltam added, "There is a committee for intellectual property that receives complaints from authors and others, and their rights are protected according to Jordanian law and in coordination with the National Library Department."
He continued, "We have not received complaints, either from publishers or authors, since the beginning of 2023, but in general, the complaints are few, and there are complaints sent to the Arab Publishers Union in Cairo, which follows them up through the Property Protection Committee, where any author can obtain his full rights with any house." Arabic publishing.
Regarding the problems of the publishing sector, the publisher, Muhammad al-Tanbour, believes that "official departments and universities do not cooperate with the publisher, even at the Amman International Fair. They buy from the Arab publisher under the pretext that the national publisher is always present and can be returned to at any time."
Al-Tanbour told Al-Jazeera Net that "for several years, there has been no Jordanian publisher who has sold his product to any official party, and all that happens is that the official authorities buy two or 3 copies at the latest, not to mention the piracy in bookstores in universities that photograph books prescribed for students, Which causes the loss of the rights of the author and publisher, and from here I call on these parties, the Ministry of Culture, the Greater Amman Municipality, and universities to support the national publisher.”