Morocco.. Book fair in Rabat between attending English and the impact of exams and inflation


The final transfer of the organization of the International Book and Publishing Fair from Casablanca to Rabat was well received by a large number of exhibitors and the public alike, but readers recorded a decline in the demand for books for this session, due to the coincidence of the exhibition period with the end-of-school exams and the decline in purchasing power. With inflation reaching record levels in the past few months.

The 28th session of the International Publishing and Book Fair began in Rabat in early June and ends tomorrow, Sunday. It witnessed the participation of 737 exhibitors from 51 countries and the hosting of the Canadian state of Quebec as a guest of honor.

“I participated several times in the Casablanca exhibition, and I participated in the 27th session of the exhibition in Rabat and this session, The turnout is average this year compared to last year, because the exhibition coincided with the certification exams (baccalaureate and university exams).

He added, “The organization is tight, especially in terms of cleanliness, security, the turnout of exhibitors from outside Morocco, and the presence of Arab, African and European publishing houses,” noting that “the books that are most popular are academic books and children’s books.”


For his part, Moroccan exhibitor Mohamed Al-Bahbouh – who participated more than 12 times in previous sessions of the International Book Fair in Morocco – said, “Moving the exhibition to the city of Rabat is an added value. It was necessary to break with the Casablanca exhibition, which was drowning year after year in randomness.” and chaos.”

Al-Bahbouh told Reuters, “There is a decline in attendance compared to the previous session because the exhibition period coincides with the exams at the end of the year and because of the material constraints of Moroccans.

Inflation in Morocco recorded unprecedented levels in the past few months, and at the end of February, for example, it reached 10.1%.

The central bank raised the interest rate 3 times from September of last year to March, in an effort to contain inflation.

For her part, Fatima Ouami – a French language teacher in a private school on the outskirts of Rabat – said, “In fact, we are waiting for such occasions to acquire rare books that we do not always find in libraries, but unfortunately the prices are expensive and not affordable.”

An employee who introduced himself as Ahmed said, “I came with my two children to buy books for them so that I would like them to read. Perhaps the prices of books are normal, but what we went through in terms of high prices before, during and after Ramadan, and we are approaching Eid al-Adha makes my budget limited, which forced me to conclude with them.” We agreed in advance not to go beyond a specific budget for the acquisition of pamphlets.”

However, statistics from the Moroccan Ministry of Culture showed that the exhibition received 62,000 visitors during the first four days of this session, an increase of 8% compared to the same period of last year’s session.

It was not possible to contact those responsible for the exhibition to comment on the decline in the demand for buying books, according to a number of exhibitors.

Demand for English books

In turn, the Moroccan government announced in the past two weeks a decision to generalize the teaching of English in the preparatory stage, starting from the next academic year, in a move aimed at strengthening its presence in Moroccan education after French dominated academic education in the country for decades.

Exhibitors recorded an increasing demand for English books in this session, especially academic ones and children’s books.

“There is an increasing demand for English books. I have always bet on books in English, despite some opinions that say that Moroccans are attached to French culture,” said Moroccan exhibitor Othman Al-Iraqi – who is the founder of a website specializing in English books.

He added that “organizing the exhibition in Rabat is better than Casablanca by all standards, but organizing it at the time of exams caused a lack of turnout.”

Haitham Gomaa, an exhibitor from Egypt, said, “I have been coming to the book fair in Morocco since it was in Casablanca. The turnout was greater, perhaps because its population is greater than Rabat.”

He continued, “In general, there is a good demand for children’s books, whether normal or with special needs, as our publishing house works on books for this category of children.”

In turn, Abdul Rahman Khalaf, director of rights and marketing at a Saudi publishing house, expressed his admiration for the exhibition and its organization, telling Reuters, “The exhibition has a good turnout, and my observation is that Moroccans are not ordinary readers, but rather qualitative readers.”

Khalaf added, “We have books on philosophy, history, literature, psychology and sociology, and the Moroccan reader listens and asks, and this is evidence of awareness.”

He pointed out that “the exhibition is promising and encourages us to continue and participate in the coming days.”


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Morocco.. Book fair in Rabat between attending English and the impact of exams and inflation

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