The Egyptian Publishers Association, the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO), and Dar Waad for Publication and Exhibitions held a press conference to announce the start date of the first Arab book fair.
The owner of Dar Waad, El-Gemaily Ahmed, says that he had proposed the idea of this book fair a few months before 25 January revolution, but it was refused by the Cairo Governorate and the state security.
Having also refused any cultural seminars or workshops coming from non-governmental organisations, the owner of the publishing house had originally decided not to launch this book fair. He believes that the book fair should not only be a means of selling books, but should also be a literary and cultural gathering that provides a great opportunity for writers and artists to meet.
Ahmed Megahed, head of the General Egyptian Book Organisation welcomed the idea of El-Gemaily’s book fair and explained that the GEBO is prepared to help out and even participate in it. He stressed that the GEBO does not differentiate between the public and private sector for both serve literature and creativity.
Muhammad Rashad Chief of the Egyptian Publishers Association, and the owner of the Egyptian –Lebanese publishing house assures the role of the private cultural organisations in helping the governmental associations.
The book fair will begin on 9 September in El-Gezira Park, in front of Cairo Opera House. El-Gemaily declares that more than 300 publishing houses will take part in the fair, making it bigger than the Faysal book fair.
El-Gemaily says he will organise a poetry competition at the book fair, a poetry tent, an artistic and cultural tent for cultural and political seminars, and art shows.