Egypt’s culture minister, Shaker Abdel Hamid, has confirmed to Ahram Online that the Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF) will be closed for security reasons on 25 and 26 January, the first anniversary of the uprising that led to the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, before reopening until 7 February.
The decision is an alteration to the fair’s original schedule, which is due to open in 15 days. Abel Hamid sparked controversy when he postponed the fair until February – from its planned opening on 24 January – upon the request of the interior ministry that wanted to avoid a clash with the January 25 Revolution’s first anniversary.
The minister later retreated from his decision under pressure from the media and publishers. He announced the fair would open two days earlier than originally scheduled – on 22 January – close on 25/26 January, then reopen until 7 February, maintaining the planned 15 days of events.
Participants from 29 Arab and foreign countries are expected at the fair, and Tunisia will be the guest of honour. The main theme of the fair will be ‘One year of the January 25 Revolution'.