Thousands come to Erbil book fair in Kurdistan

By Ögmundur Jónsson
October 29, 2018
Militant/Carole Lesnick

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region, Iraq — The 13th Erbil International Book Fair opened here Oct. 10, with exhibitors from some 35 countries. Titles in English are much sought after, as many young Kurds are learning the language.

On display is a wide array of books, from Kurdish, Middle Eastern, and world literature to titles on religion, science, technology and politics. The 10-day fair reflects the national pride and confidence of Kurds in Iraq, part of an oppressed nation whose people also span areas of Turkey, Iran and Syria.

Pathfinder Books in London has been well received, with sales in the first four days outstripping the 10-day totals of last year. This is the second time Pathfinder has been part of the fair. Most popular are books by leaders of the Socialist Workers Party in the U.S. presenting a working-class perspective in face of the global capitalist crisis. The top seller is Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? Class, Privilege and Learning under Capitalism by Jack Barnes. Books on the fight for women’s emancipation and on the roots of Jew-hatred and the struggle against it are also in high demand.