Self-censorship is best in filtering information: Shaikh Nahyan

ABU DHABI — Self-censorship is more effective in filtering information, Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Education, said yesterday.

By Anjana Sankar

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Published: Fri 1 Apr 2005, 11:03 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:57 PM

"We should leave it to the people to decide what to read and what not to, what is to be seen and what not to. The most important thing in this information age is that we don't restrict the availability of any kind of information to the public, be it through the electronic media, satellite channels, Internet or books," Shaikh Nahyan told Khaleej Times after inaugurating the 15th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair at the Cultural Foundation yesterday.

He added that in this knowledge-based society and economy, people should seek quality information that will arm them to face the challenges.

Shaikh Nahyan was accompanied by Khalida Toumi, Algerian Minister of Culture, along with a host of other dignitaries during the opening ceremony of one of the biggest book fair in the Middle East. More than 500 Arabic and International publishing houses are participating in the fair, lining up more than 250,000 Arabic titles and 110,000 foreign titles under one roof. The exhibition will continue until April 8.

Ms Toumi said that Algeria is keen to enhance its relationship with the United Arab Emirates and during her visit will sign an agreement with the UAE Ministry of Information to facilitate close cultural interactions between the two countries.

Mohammed Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Secretary General of the Cultural Foundation, commented that late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the founder of the Abu Dhabi Book Fair and its patron, who exerted all efforts to make it a portal for knowledge and education to enrich the minds of UAE citizens and expatriates alike.

"It has become an annual celebration and a strong link between publishers and readers, an event of learning that embodied many world languages," he said, thanking the generous and unwavering support accorded to it by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Abu Dhabi Book Fair started in 1981 when Shaikh Zayed launched the Islamic Book Fair at the Cultural Foundation building. He purchased all the books in the Fair and distributed them among government institutions as a farsighted gesture to encourage readership among nationals.

In 1986, the Foundation hosted its first Book Fair with the participation of more than 70 publishers, most of them from Egypt and Lebanon in addition to local publishers. Since then, it has become an annual event in the capital's events calendar.

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