Handicrafts and book exhibition opens in Kabul

A handicrafts and book exhibition in Kabul saw about 150 publication houses exhibiting their books this week in a bid to promote the culture of reading in the country.

The exhibition was also attended by women.

“The reading culture is really low in Afghanistan. Figures show that every Afghanistan national spends one second per year on reading books. This is regretful. Another issue is people’s economy that does not allow them to buy books,” said Ali Kohistani, one publishing company owner.

“Reading has a real importance in other countries, but it is really low in Afghanistan,” said Khalil Noori, another publication company owner.

Women who attended the exhibition said that women have been removed from many areas of activities in society but added that the exhibition is an opportunity for them to market their products.

“Under the current circumstances as even almost 100 percent of women are jobless, we are happy to see such opportunities as it encourages other women who are at home,” said Roya Mohammadi, a woman investor.

This comes after bookstore owners and others in the publishing industry have seen a sharp drop in sales over the past two years, resulting in many having to close down.