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Book fair in Badakhshan attract students, but girls barred from visiting

Many students thronged the recent book fair held in Badakhshan province, which aims to promote book-reading culture and encourage youth from “different walks of life” to study, but no girls were allowed to attend it.

It is unclear why girls were barred from attending the fair, but the Taliban’s ban on girls’ and women’s education could be a solid explanation.

The fair, held by Badakhshan University in collaboration with the local Booksellers Association, featured thousands of books in different genres and included objects and painting collections too.

“One of the importance of this fair is introducing rare books that were previously stored in the libraries and rendered inaccessible to most students.” Said Farid Danishwar, a representative of Uranus Bookstore who attended the fair.

Ahmad Nabil Qazizada, another bookseller, said that the fair is also an impetus to encourage young students who have distanced themselves from studying and higher education.

Salahuddin Qarizada, the cultural committee official at the university, told KabulNow Saturday that the organizers have plans to further cultural activities of story-writing and book-reading competitions in the province.

Mahfuzullah Hajizada, a senior student at Badakhshan University, said that such fascinating fairs can foster and deepen students’ critical thinking.

“I’m delighted to see such an invaluable fair was held at the university, providing a unique opportunity for students to explore and study their favorite books across different genres,” Hajizada further noted.

“I hope the organizers will hold similar programs in the future to benefit youth from different walks of life and across communities.”