A bookish rite

Soha Hesham , Tuesday 25 Jan 2022

The 53rd Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF, 26 January-7 February) launched its activities yesterday at Egypt’s International Exhibition Centre (EIEC) with the participation of 1063 Egyptian, Arab and foreign publishers from 51 countries spread over five halls.

Cairo International Book Fair

It will open to the public starting on Thursday 27 January daily from 10am, with tickets available through the website. In cooperation with the Cairo Transport Authority, the book fair provides 11 bus lines from various stops all over Cairo, including Ramses, Hegaz Square, Makram Ebeid, Giza square, and Al-Azhar University.

This round, the book fair is held under the slogan “Egypt’s Identity: Culture and the Question of the Future” on its original dates in January after last year’s exceptional round, held in June due to the pandemic circumstances. Visitors to the book fair are to follow precautionary measures for Covid-19. Vaccination certificates are not necessary for entry, but the book fair will provide vaccines for visitors who want to receive it. There is also a digital platform for online book buying and a delivery service in cooperation with the Ministry of Communications represented by Egypt’s Post offices to any place inside Egypt.  

The higher committee of the book fair headed by Haitham Al-Haj announced that Greece is the guest of honour this year, while – along with the late children’s writer Abdel-Tawab Youssef – the late writer Yehia Haqi is the personality of the year, with Nahdet Misr publishing a new edition of his complete works.

Cultural activities at the CIBF include conversations with Egyptian, Arab and foreign intellectuals on writing, arts and culture, children’s workshops like reading and storytelling and stage plays, lectures and seminars on fine arts as well as centennial celebrations of various Egyptian cultural and artistic figures. This is in addition to hosting a number of Egyptian and Arab poets. In terms of cinema, there will be film screenings followed by filmmakers discussing their films and the role of cinema in Egyptian society as well as a symposium on the relationship between theatre and the identity.

CIBF also features a professional programme aimed at improving the publishing industry by providing a professional and specialised platform for publishers to promote Arab cultural products.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 27 January, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

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