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Book Readers of Kabul

For a country such as Afghanistan, the occasional book fair is an opportunity not to be missed. The city's educated elite enthusiastically visit the fairs to meet visiting writers and authors and familiarise themselves with books from outside Afghanistan, published mainly in Iran but also in Pakistan and other countries.


Some of these books are written by Afghan poets and writers who, during the long years of exile, have established themselves in other countries, and who are either returning to or visiting their homeland now.


Many well-off Afghans also purchase books to fill their bookshelves. Young Afghans, curious to learn about their own history and culture and about the wider world, also use these opportunities to buy books on poetry, history, religion, general knowledge and new technology.


The growth of media and print journalism over the past seven years in Afghanistan has also, to some extent, helped the book market to expand, despite the high rate of illiteracy in the country. In this multimedia report we visit a book fair recently held in Kabul, and hear from the publishers and readers visiting there.

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