Arab Publishers Association boycotts Riyadh Book Fair

Mohammed Saad , Tuesday 29 Jan 2013

Arab publishers agree unanimously to boycott the Riyadh International Bookfair, citing complaints of prohibitive fees and Riyadh's stance on Syrian publishers

General Assembly meeting
Arab Publishers Association meeting in Cairo International Book Fair (photo: Mohammed Saad)

The general assembly of the Arab Publishers Association met Sunday at the Cairo International Book Fair, as they do every year.

Originally they had on agenda to to elect their new president, however, they voted on several pressing issues off the agenda.

The assembly unanimously decided to boycott the Riyadh International Book Fair in protest to the expensive kiosk space and additional fees for installing the barcode system, and ultimately because of Riyadh's decision to exclude Syrian publishers from the fair.

The newly-elected board, which seats a representative from each Arab country's national publishing association, is expected to comply with the decision. Any publisher who joins the Riyadh book fair, furthermore, will be subject to penalties that could include voiding their association membership.

The association also revealed its first report on publishing conditions in the Arab world in 2012.

The Arab Publishers Association, established in April 1955, has an administrative office in Cairo and a general secretariat in Beirut, mainly working as the interlocutor for the Arab publishers with Arab and international organisations in the publishing or freedoms fields.

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