He made the remarks in an international webinar held on the margins of the virtual edition of the Tehran Book Fair on Friday.
Srdan Markovic from the Serbian Publishing House Utopia, Iranian cultural attaché in Serbia Mehdi Shirazi and translator Aleksandar Dragovic were among the experts participating in the webinar to discuss Iranian books and the translation into Persian of books in Serbia.
Dragovic is the translator of a selection from Iranian children’s book writer Hushang Moradi Kermani’s bestseller “The Stories of Majid”, which was unveiled at the 64th Belgrade International Book Fair in 2019.
“I visited Iran in 2009, and a year later I began to work on book publication. When I went to the United States I brought several Persian books back with me. I also got several books from Iran’s cultural office in Serbia and I later translated the couplets of Persian poet Omar Khayyam,” Markovic said.
“I usually publish five to six books every year and I usually look for books for translation that will have more influence on ordinary readers in Serbia,” he added.
Markovic called himself a lover of Iran and said, “I have traveled to Iran twice and several times to India, Pakistan and Tajikistan. And I have tried to publish books from these neighboring countries. We seek out old civilizations to offer good books to children,” he said.
He added that he has written several travelogues and one of them is a book on the annual pilgrimage of Arbaeen in Iraq.
Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period following the martyrdom of the Imam and his loyal companions on Ashura.
He said that he wrote the book after he visited the holy shrine of Imam Hussain (AS) in Karbala.
“We know that Persian classic literature is of high significance but Iran also has many good modern writers. We are in touch with the Pol Literary and Translation Agency. They provide us with the latest productions and we can choose our books, however, we can only publish one or two books a year,” he said.
Pol Literary and Translation Agency is a Tehran-based institution that translates Iranian books and presents Persian-language publications around the world.
He added that he hopes the next generations pay greater attention to Iranian books and more books would be published.
“Perhaps there would be increased opportunity to publish additional books because we are after cultural benefits for the coming generations,” he concluded.
Dozens of publishers from Serbia and Italy are attending the Tehran International Book Fair displaying their latest offerings at Iran’s most important cultural event, which is being held online this year due to the pandemic.
Francesco Brioschi, Ponte and IsMEO – the Institute for the Middle and Far East are among the Italian publishers attending the virtual fair.
Some officials of the Belgrade International Book Fair and several Serbian publishing houses, including Laguna Publishing, Kreativni Centar, Cigoja Stampa and Utopia, are also attending the fair.
Iran was the guest of honor at the Belgrade International Book Fair in 2016.
In addition, the virtual edition of the Tehran Book Fair, which opened last Tuesday, has organized 17 international webinars on various cultural topics.
The virtual fair, which will run for six days, can be found through tehranbookfair.ir.