Established in 2001
Discover our History
This is the story of one of Kuwait's leading companies.
The idea of Aafaq came about.
January 2001, at the Manuscript, Documentation and Heritage Center in Jabriya, Kuwait; as Naser alShammari was preparing research for his postgraduate studies on the Arabic manuscripts available in the Gazi Husrev-beg Library in Bosnia, the idea of creating Aafaq was born. Following a conversation between Naser and the centre’s librarian about how books and manuscripts were acquired, Naser knew that this field was not well served and quickly set about establishing a company named Aafaq Almarefah (Aafaq . As Naser continued his postgraduate studies, his commercial work was limited, and he was satisfied to supply government universities and the Ministry of Education in Kuwait, in addition to participating in local book fairs.
A Second Branch
Aafaq opened its second bookstore branch in the Jahra area, north of Kuwait, and added new lines to each store, including stationery and educational games. Aafaq continued its participation in all Arab exhibitions, with its publications reaching nearly 400 titles.
Aafaq opened its third bookshop in the Salmiya area. In the same year it entered the school book market, gaining the confidence of British and American schools and supplying them with education materials and textbooks. With a shift in demand to digital products Aafaq also entered the world of digital publishing, becoming the exclusive distributor of many important Arab and international databases. This was a qualitative leap for Aafaq, and forced it to grow its team and skill set.
Aafaq in the Region
This year saw Aafaq open its largest branch in Kuwait, in the famous Avenues complex, with an area of 550 square meters located on two floors. In the same year Aafaq opened in the State of Qatar; its first branch outside Kuwait. Located in the Mall of Qatar, the new branch brought together Arabic and English books, stationery and toys. Aafaq's publications reached nearly 750 titles making it one of the fastest growing publishers in the Middle East. Another important event took place in 2019 as Aafaq formed a partnership with TINC from the United Kingdom, and opened two retail branches, the first in the Avenues Mall, Kuwait and the second in Mall of Qatar, Qatar.
With the increasing popularity of Aafaq branches; Aafaq increased the number of products offered in its stores. New lines were added: toys and handicrafts, then educational games. Very quickly Aafaq gained the confidence of different brands, and was appointed the exclusive distributor for KLUTZ, a branch of Scholastic (the world’s largest children’s publisher) and Orchard Toys, a British toy maker, and an authorized distributor for Hasbro. Furthermore, Aafaq opened its sixth branch in 360 Mall, Kuwait and Aafaq launched its consumer website, http://www.aafaqbookstore.com.
Aafaq and the Corona Crisis
Despite the huge challenges faced during the Corona Crisis, this period of enforced closure of its retail businesses, allowed some time to re-focus and reflect.