Pathfinder Press at Erbil Book Fair in Kurdistan Region, Iraq, 2023

Pathfinder Press at Erbil Book Fair in Kurdistan Region, Iraq, 2023
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region, Iraq — Tens of thousands attended the 15th Erbil International 10-day Book Fair which kicked off March 8, 2023, looking for books on a wide range of topics including history, politics, science, technology, and religion — as well as children’s books.

This cultural event — held for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID pandemic — is a product of historic advances in the struggle of the Kurdish people for national self-determination. Kurds have established an autonomous region in northeast Iraq.

Many in the region have sought refuge in Kurdistan from war. This was reflected in the range of people who visited the Pathfinder Press booth from across the Kurdistan Region, as well as from other parts of Iraq, Mosul, Baghdad, and Kirkuk. Most were looking for books in Kurdish, Arabic or English.

Pathfinder Books in London has participated in every book fair in this regional capital since 2017. More than 1,000 books by leaders of the communist movement and other revolutionaries were sold.

Pathfinder’s latest title is The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us: The Socialist Workers Party Looks Forward by Socialist Workers Party leaders Jack Barnes, Mary-Alice Waters and Steve Clark. Clark spoke on this at a televised presentation hosted by the book fair organizers.

Other titles addressing political questions arising out of capitalism’s world disorder were popular, including Labor, Nature, and the Evolution of Humanity by Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, George Novack and Waters; Lenin’s Final Fight by V.I. Lenin; The Jewish Question: A Marxist Interpretation by Abram Leon; and a number of books on the fight for women’s emancipation.

Like many others, Hoshmand Salar said he knew Pathfinder from a previous fair, where he bought a collection of speeches by Malcolm X. “He influenced me a lot, so I was glad to see books on his life and ideas.” This time he got Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by Barnes and The Bolivian Diary by Che Guevara.

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