World's largest floating book fair in Bahrain
Manama, October 7, 2013
The world's largest floating book fair will visit Bahrain for the first time later this month. The Logos Hope is a non-profit enterprise operated by GBA Ships, an international, charitable organisation based in Germany.
It was previously meant to dock in Bahrain in February 2011, but the visit was cancelled due to the unrest. It will now arrive in Bahrain October 23.
"The ship has more than 5,000 different titles and a stock of half a million books," project co-ordinator Laura Howard told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"We are a non-profit charitable organisation. We aim to share knowledge, help and hope. Everyone, including the captain, is a volunteer. They raise money to be able to fund themselves. It's usually a two-year commitment, but it varies," he stated.
Howard said the ship's motto of "knowledge, help and hope" meant that the Logos Hope was involved in the communities where it docks.
"We give cultural presentations, provide dentistry and eye glasses," she said.
"We're looking for opportunities to help in Bahrain, so we're exploring labour camps and schools. We also have a cultural cafŽ on board, and intend to host ladies' coffee mornings," she revealed
Events will be ticketed, but they will be free of charge.
The ship is currently in Oman, and will travel to Doha before arriving in Bahrain. It intends to dock in Bahrain until November 3.
"Our biggest aim is to build bridges and friendships," said Howard.
She said that despite holding cultural programmes for the ports they visit, the crew often feel that they learn more from the cultures that they are exposed to.
The ship is restocked often, with containers arriving "every couple ports of call".
"We'll have a few Arabic titles, and some Indian titles that we've picked up from previous ports of call, but the majority of titles will be in English," said Howard.
"The books are available at a dramatically reduced price because we work closely with the publishing houses. The revenue from the books accounts for 25 per cent of the running cost. We also receive donations."
The ship also partners with schools and universities in the various ports of call.
There are a variety of books available on the ship, including children's literature, fiction, educational and hobbies books.
Howard said the ship hopes to attract approximately 3,000 people a day. It has a crew of about 400, and while the majority are in their mid-20s, the crew includes families, with the youngest member on board a six-month-old baby.
The ship also intends to have a cultural celebration which includes a local collaboration, but the details are still being ironed out.
Visitors will be able to experience the visitor's deck, which includes an international cafŽ and places to take pictures.-TradeArabia News Service
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