The Qatari Forum for Authors presented the second episode of the “Dialogue of Mind … Youth Debates” initiative, which comes within the activities of Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World 2021.
The session revolved around the most prominent objectives of publishing houses, “Qatari publishing houses between financial profit and contributing to the promotion of culture and the enrichment of knowledge.”
The first team was led by writer Issa Abdullah, and it was composed of the writers Omar Al-Mir and Muhammad Al-Marri, who adopted the view that financial gain is a priority.
In the beginning, writer Issa Abdullah’s team explained the reasons for their bias towards the idea of the Qatari publishing houses’ keenness to enrich the cultural arena intellectually away from making profits, as the team leader confirmed at the beginning that the owners of publishing houses had several options for financial investment before their involvement in this field, but they voluntarily chose this field for cultural and educational purposes.
He said: The book sales are only achieved in certain seasons, such as book fairs, and despite the cessation of those exhibitions, these houses have not stopped working.
On the other hand, Lina Al-Aali’s team sided with the importance of making profits by the establishment of these projects, even if the publishing houses have other goals. However, the publishing house has no right to prevent any publication, because evaluation is the task of the reader and the critic, not the publishing house.
At the end of this debate, the researcher, Ms. Khawla Mortadhawi, made some systematic observations on the performance of the two teams, indicating that she adopts the idea that building a knowledge economy relies on two subjects, the first one is investment in people, and the second one is the profit side.