Egypt's 50th annual book fair opens on Tuesday

Ahram Online , Tuesday 22 Jan 2019

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during the opening of the Cairo Book Fair (Photo courtesy of the official Facebook page of El-Sisi's spokesman)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi opened on Tuesday the Cairo International Book Fair, the country's major annual book fair which runs for its 50th edition this year.

The two-week event brings together around 1,724 publishers and participants from 35 countries, with Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana taking part for the first time, state news agency MENA said.

Around ten African countries, 16 Asian countries, seven countries from Europe, and two from the Americas are participating.

A total of 749 publishing houses are participating in the fair, with 579 houses from Egypt alone and 170 foreign houses.

580 volunteers have been assigned to assist the guests of the fair.

The fair commemorates this year former Egyptian culture minister Tharwat Okasha, the brains behind the event, and author Suhair Al-Kalamawy, the first head of the General Egyptian Book Organisation.

The event, which runs through 5 February, will feature hundreds of side events dedicated to culture, arts and children, as well as eight workshops on writing, theatre and fine art. It will host around 170 Arab and foreign guests, as well as over 300 poets and 2,500 writers, critics and artists.

This year's edition is held for the first time in Egypt's International Exhibition Center in New Cairo. Since its inception in 1969, the conference has typically run for almost two weeks and had long been held at the Cairo International Fairgrounds in the northeastern district of Nasr City.

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