Iran PressIran News: The message text is as follows:

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is for Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his kith and kin.  

Excellencies, Eminences, 
First and foremost, I would like to thank the organizers of the Tehran International Book Fair, particularly the Ministry of Culture. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Iranian National Commission and ICESCO’s Regional Office in Tehran. 

The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), being the beacon of the Islamic world in its areas of competence, places a high premium to enhancing awareness among communities and developing knowledge societies at the core of its mission. The Islamic civilization is one of the most prominent human civilizations that took great interest in books and their production. As evidence of this, the libraries in the ICESCO Member States abound in books, manuscripts and documents that cannot be found elsewhere.  
Ancient Islamic cities were major hubs for book circulation. The books that were produced in the Mashreq reach the Maghreb in a short span of time and viceversa. The Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun, for instance, reached the Mashreq in a record period. 
Book fairs in the Member States are among the most successful book fairs in the world. Nonetheless, the countries of the Islamic world still have a long way to go in instilling a culture of reading in their societies and developing the necessary legislation for protecting actors in the book production chain, including the protection of intellectual property rights of authors and creators and the rights of publishers and distributors, fighting piracy and ensuring that books are available for readers at affordable prices. 

Excellencies, Eminences, 
Book fairs contribute to raising awareness, disseminating knowledge, and anchoring a culture of reading among communities, thus promoting informed and active citizen participation in public affairs and community development. All these elements can effectively spur a scientific renaissance and a comprehensive development covering the societal, educational, economic and cultural dimensions. 
In addition to disseminating knowledge and reducing ignorance and illiteracy, book fairs also have a positive economic impact. They support the publishing and distribution, and paper industries with all related activities reap various benefits from a thriving book industry. Book fairs contribute to strengthening national economies and generate considerable profits. 
Moreover, book fairs promote human rights and provide the necessary information for decision-making. Communities that read books respect the dignity of their members and provide them with the necessary knowledge sources in all areas to engage them in building prosperous societies. 
Book fairs contribute significantly to spreading the culture of their organizing countries, publicizing their outstanding figures, authors, and intellectuals, and unlocking the creative potential of their youth. 
The overarching aim of book fairs is to make knowledge easily accessible for readers and researchers in research centers or universities and spare them the need to travel long distances and spend large sums to find knowledge sources. Book fairs are major events for the organizing countries to show their soft power. They also serve as platforms for them to accumulate valuable intellectual capital that equals their financial capital and enhance their effectiveness and influence in the global cultural landscape. 
Excellencies, Eminences, 
I conclude by thanking the organizers of the Tehran International Book Fair for their efforts towards disseminating knowledge and providing an opportunity for cultural exchange among intellectuals, authors, creators and all men and women of letters, with the end view to cultivating peace and cooperation between countries. 
Thank you. 
Assalamu alaikum warahmatu Allah wabarakatuhu. 


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