Political turmoil won't mar Cairo book fair, vows Magahed

Mohammed Saad , Monday 23 Dec 2013

755 publishers from 24 countries to attend Cairo book fair set to open on 22 January; Kuwait to be guest of honour

Cairo International Book Fair
Poster of the 45 Cairo International Book Fair

General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO) director Ahmed Megahed said on Monday that the 45th Cairo International Book Fair would be held between 22 January and 6 February, two days longer than originally planned.

Kuwait was announced the fair's guest of honour at a press conference attended by Megahed and Kuwaiti ambassador to Cairo Salem Zamnan at the GEBO headquarters.

Megahed said Kuwait was the guest of honour for its vital role in publishing and delivering books at low prices.

GEBO has been the official sponsor and organiser of the fair for many years. This year's event is called 'Culture and Identity', after last year's 'Dialogue not Clash'.

Megahed said 24 countries would participate, 17 Arab and seven non-Arab. There would be 755 publishers, 518 from Egypt, 210 Arab and 27 non-Arab. Azbakeya market for second-hand books will have 92 kiosks.

The countries taking part include Qatar and Turkey, with which Egypt is having tense political relations, but Magahed insisted they would participate as normal aside.

The list of Arab countries is the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Tunisia, Oman, Morocco, Palestine, Jordan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq and Algeria.

From European and Asian countries come the UK, Netherlands, Turkey, Italy, Germany, US and Russia.

Megahed said he had resisted increasing rents at the fair, and Industry Minister Mounir Fakhry had accepted his request not to raise the GEBO's rent due to the difficult economic conditions.

The fair will be secured by the police and private security companies.

The fair has chosen the dean of the Arabic literature, Taha Hussein, who died forty years ago this year, as its Person of the Year. Megahed stated the GEBO would publish 20 of Hussain's rarest books in celebration.

A separate children's book wing will be held for the first time this term.

Short link: