The Egyptian Publishers Association (EPA) has decided to boycott the Damascus International Book Fair in protest at Bashar Al-Assad’s massacres against the Syrian people. The decision was taken Wednesday night during the first meeting of the EPA’s newly elected board of directors.
“The general assembly of the EPA made a suggestion to boycott the Damascus book fair during its meeting on 29 May and the new board approved it,” Assem Shalaby, the new EPA head, said.
Shalaby told Ahram Online that the decision was not taken in response to the latest massacre, in Houla town, but to condemn and protest all massacres committed by Assad against the Syrian people since the Syrian revolution broke out in March 2011.
“Egypt should support the Arab Spring. Syria is a crucial part of this, as an important and strategic country in the region, and we should support it and condemn all the massacres against the Syrian people committed by the Assad regime,” Shalaby added.
The decision is the new board’s first since it was formed Wednesday. Shalaby succeedes Mohammed Rashad, who decided not to run for the top post in the organisation again.
Shalaby told Ahram Online that he and the board of directors are working on a new plan to develop the publishing industry in Egypt; he said that details of the plan would be announced in a press conference over the next two weeks.