Afghanistan: Shutdown of schools for girls force publishers, booksellers to close shop

Afghanistan: Shutdown of schools for girls force publishers, booksellers to close shop

Publishers and booksellers have stated that they have stopped importing books from other nations due to a lack of market and hundreds of books on politics, economics and society have remained unsold for months, the report claimed.

ANIUpdated: Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 09:18 PM IST
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Kabul: Publishers and booksellers on Monday said the import of books has stopped and the sale of books in Kabul has reduced dramatically, TOLO News reported, adding that the drop in sales comes amid the closure of schools and universities for women and girls under the Taliban regime.

Publishers and booksellers have stated that they have stopped importing books from other nations due to a lack of market and hundreds of books on politics, economics and society have remained unsold for months, the report claimed. Aqeel Noori, a bookseller, said she had not imported books in two years as the sales were down.

Ahmad Zai, another bookseller, said 80 per cent of his customers were girls and schools and universities have been closed for them, as per the news report.

"Sadly, we haven't imported books in nearly two years due to lack of sales. The market is extremely down," TOLO News quoted Aqeel Noori, another bookseller, as saying.

Publishers and booksellers added that they used to import over 100,000 books from Iran and Pakistan every six months, the news report stated further, adding that the number has reduced to zero now.
In December, the Taliban ordered the suspension of higher education for females in Afghanistan.

The Publishers Union of Kabul, too, confirmed that the sale of books has dropped since the closure of educational institutions for women and girls, the TOLO News report said. Mohammad Akbar Azimi, chairman, Joy-e-Shir Booksellers and Publishers Union, said sales have decreased significantly.
"Our sales have dropped significantly as compared to previous years. The primary reason is that schools and universities are closed for girls," TOLO News quoted Mohammad Akbar Azimi as saying.

Ruhollah, a student, said students cannot afford to purchase books as essential expenses are going up and the country's economy is hurtling downhill.

"The financial situation of citizens is declining. It has reached a point where students cannot afford to buy books anymore," TOLO News quoted Ruhollah as saying.

"With less money, it is difficult to buy a book, even if it costs 100 Afghanis," TOLO News quoted Mohammad Qadir, another student, as saying.

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