Wednesday,20 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1230, (22 - 28 January 2015)
Wednesday,20 February, 2019
Issue 1230, (22 - 28 January 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Books galore

The 46th Cairo International Book Fair will open its doors on Wednesday, Nevine El-Aref reports

Books galore
Books galore
Al-Ahram Weekly

Under the slogan “Culture and Development”, the 46th Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF) will open on Wednesday, a week later than originally scheduled. The last-minute change of plan was made to give Egyptians the chance to celebrate the anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, without having to suspend the fair’s activities for two days. The book fair will continue until 12 February.

Ahmed Megahed, head of the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO), said the country’s stable security is a promising sign for this year’s fair. Publishers from around the world are taking part in the event, some of them for the first time. To accommodate visitors, the site at the Nasr City fair grounds has been extended to 80,000 square metres.

Saudi Arabia is the fair’s guest of honour, while Sheikh Mohamed Abdo has been named as the personality of the year. Megahed, speaking at a press conference at the GEBO’s headquarters, said that Saudi Arabia was chosen because it has, for a number of years, had the largest number of publishers and the largest pavilion at the fair, and was not related to that country’s political and economic backing of Egypt after 30 June 2013.

Megahed announced four new initiatives: “The book is your gift”, a programme encouraging people to give books as gifts; “Book Delivery”, a system for delivering GEBO publications to readers across the country for free, in collaboration with the Akhbar Alyoum association; “Am Amin”, a smart-phone app guide to the fair, including detailed maps and lists; and “Cairo Calling”, a phone-based extension of the fair’s activities directed at Arabs who cannot attend in person. In addition, second-hand GEBO books will be sold at Sour Al-Azbakeyya at a 75 per cent discount.

Despite the past two years of turmoil, the annual fair has not faced any disruptions. Megahed sited this as proof of GEBO’s ability to manage security at the event. This year, he said, police deployed at the fair will be supported by private security companies.

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