This edition of the internationally renowned fair, which runs from 26 January until 7 February at International Exhibitions Center in New Cairo, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem.
The fair, which is organised by the General Egyptian Book Organisation, is held under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
This edition is held under the slogan “Egypt’s Identity: Culture and the Question of the Future.” It features the late-Egyptian writers Yehia Haqqi and Abdel-Tawab Youssef as this edition's personalities, with multiple events exploring different aspects of their writing.
This year's edition features Greece as the guest of honour, introducing the works of prominent Greek writers to Egyptian readers and affirming excellent bilateral relations between the two countries.
The culture ministry noted in a statement that 8,000 virtual tours and 133,000 views of books online were also recorded during the first week of the fair.
Furthermore, the fair’s digital platform, which is being used for the second time, has so far 520,000 registered visitors, and 160,000 tickets purchased.
The children’s pavilion also met with a huge success, including activities that included a storytelling corner, art workshop and theatrical performance in addition to many scientific and cultural activities to develop children’s skills, the statement noted.
For the first time in the fair’s history, the latest artificial intelligence is being used alongside virtual reality, holograms, and 3D glasses to introduce a unique interactive experience for both children and adults.
As many as 1,063 Egyptian, Arab and foreign publishers from 51 countries are participating in the fair, which comprises 900 pavilions.
In the current edition, which runs daily from 10am to 8pm, but opens at 1pm on Fridays, the authorities have put in place tight security and coronavirus preventative measures including a mandate to wear face masks.
The fair comes only six months after the last edition was held in June 2021, which attracted over a million visitors. The 2021 edition was supposed to be held in January as customary, but was postponed to June due to the pandemic.
Inaugurated in 1969, the Cairo International Book Fair is one of the largest in the world and the oldest in the Arab world, gathering together hundreds of book sellers locally and worldwide and receiving around two million visitors each year.
The book fair had been held since 1984 in the Cairo International Fair Zone in Nasr City, but was moved in 2019 to the more spacious and better equipped International Exhibition Centre in New Cairo.