Organisers of the Cairo International Book Fair have put to rest any doubt that the oldest and biggest book fair in the Arab world will not go ahead as planned this year.
The fair will open on 22 January, its fixed date, and will not be cancelled or delayed for any reason, stated the General Egyptian Book Organization (GEBO), the event's official sponsor.
The GEBO statement came in response to news that circulated on Friday, saying that the Egyptian government would cancel the book fair immediately after announcing the results of last week's constitutional referendum.
GEBO director Ahmed Megahed stated in a press release that his organization was willing to hold the fair on its scheduled date and that no decision had been made otherwise.
Megahed said that GEBO officials and workers were working around the clock to finalise preparations and get the fairgrounds in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district ready in time for next week's opening.
The full schedule for the event will be announced at a conference at the fairgrounds on Monday.
Celebrating its 45th year, the book fair will run from 22 January to 6 February, two days longer than originally planned.
Kuwait has been announced as the fair's guest of honour.
Widely known as the most important publishing event in the region, this year's fair will draw participants from 24 countries – 17 Arab and seven non-Arab – as well as 755 publishers, over 500 of which are from Egypt.
Vendors from Azbakeya, the historic downtown Cairo used-book market, will operate out of 92 kiosks.
The fair's Person of the Year has been awarded to the dean of Arabic literature, Taha Hussein, to commemorate his death 40 years ago.