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Baghdad University Holds Iraq's First Book Fair

BAGHDAD -- Western textbooks, reference works, and scientific journals are being featured at Baghdad University's book fair, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Issam Khidayir, chairman of the fair's organizing committee, says the fair is the first of its kind ever held in Iraq.

He said more than 100 publishers from Europe and the United States are taking part in the fair, with some 12,000 titles and 3,000 magazines on display.

The deputy minister of higher education, Salam Khushnaw, says the textbooks are being sold at affordable prices in an effort to help Iraqi students.

However, some postgraduate students and researchers visiting the fair told RFI that the prices of the reference books are rather high.

University lecturers and researchers are now able to keep abreast of scientific advances after decades of isolation under the Saddam Hussein regime, RFI reports.

The fair is expected to last until April 3.