Details of the 46th Cairo International Book Fair have been announced at a press conference held by the director of the General Egyptian Book Organization (GEBO) Ahmed Megahed.
The fair will be held between 28 January and 12 February in the fairgrounds in Nasr City. The event was delayed by about a week. The decision came to avoid the anniversary of the 2011 revolution, as calls for protests on that anniversary had been made by some political movements.
GEBO is the official sponsor and organiser of the fair.
The fair will be held under the theme Culture and Renovation, with Saudi Arabia as this year's guest of honour. Along with the title of this year's theme that echoes political and religious calls to "renovate the religious discourse," the fair chose the reformist imam Mohammed Abdou (1849–1905), to be the fair's person of the year.
Megahed said: "The main theme of the fair this year is Culture and Renovation, there could be no renovation without conscience and no conscience without culture, and that's what we aim to put forward and discuss this year in our cultural programme, and thus why we chose the reformist imam Mohammed Abdou to be this year's person as he is one of the most enlightened and renovating people in our modern history."
The cultural programme this year will host many renowned thinkers, including: Egyptian philosopher Hassan Hanafi, Syrian poet Adonis, Lebanese thinker Ali Harb, Tunisian thinker Rajaa bin Salama, French journalist Alain Gresh and Egyptian thinker Abdel-Gawad Yassin.
Twenty-six countries will participate at this year's event, including19 Arab and seven non-Arab. There will be 850 publishers, including 550 from Egypt, 250 Arab and 50 non-Arab. Azbakeya market for second-hand books will have 100 kiosks.
Last year, 24 countries participated, 17 Arab and 7 non-Arab. There were 755 publishers, 518 from Egypt, 210 Arab and 27 non-Arab, and the fair's theme was Culture and Identity.
Arab and African countries participating are, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Tunisia, Oman, Palestine, Jordan, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Eretria, Ethiopia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Syria and Lebanon. Non-Arab countries are Italy, Russia, India, Azerbaijan, Germany, France and Czech Republic.
Turkey is not participating in this year’s event, for the first time, which reflects the increasing political tension between Cairo and Ankara. However, Megahed denied that the GEBO had excluded any country.
The fair will launch an Android App called (Amm Amin عم أمين), that will provided the fair visitors with a map of the 80,000 square metre grounds, a database that has most of the books on display at the fair, and a calendar of events.
The Ministry of Culture will offer a big discount on all of its publications.
The fair will be open daily from 10am till 7pm for book selling and until 9pm for cultural events.
Last year's fair was inaugurated by interim president Adly Mansour. It is still not known if President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will inaugurate this year's event.