People browse through books on a stand at the Cairo International Book Fair, in Cairo - Reuters
CAIRO - 23 January 2019: Some 4.5 million people visited the Cairo International Book Fair last year over twelve days, and likely, the number will rise this year as the fair will be held for two complete weeks, said Haitham al-Haj, chairman of the General Egyptian Book Organization.
In an interview with Osama Kamal on DMC, Haj said that the fair is keen to reflect the activities that took place in the last 50 years and provide in its headquarters various logistics including transportation, restaurants, and entertaining facilities for kids.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated the Cairo International Book Fair's 50th edition on Jan. 22.
The book fair is held for the first time at the Egyptian International Exhibition Center (EIEC) at the Fifth Settlement district, coinciding with its 50th anniversary.
The Arab League was chosen as the guest of honor of the exhibition, while the Ministry of Culture chose late writer Tharwat Okasha and great writer Suhair al-Qalmawi as the festival’s personalities of the year.
Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem announced the participation of 35 countries, including 10 African countries, 16 Asian countries, seven European countries and two from the Americas.
The minister of culture stated that the number of Egyptian publishing houses reached 579, 62 of which are first-time publishers and 517 participated in previous sessions.
Abdel Dayem further revealed that the foreign publishing houses totaled up to 70 publishers, 24 of which are participating for the first time and 146 participated in previous editions, reaching a total number of 723 displays and sales outlets.
The minister of culture also confirmed that the total number of publishing houses participating in the current book fair is 749 publishing houses offering publications in different types of knowledge, with an increase of 53 houses compared to last year.
Abdel Dayem pointed out that the Ministry of Culture has allocated a stand for books with reduced prices, which start from LE 1 to LE 5.
For Egyptian publishers, book prices start from LE 1 to LE 10, so that books are affordable for everyone.
Additional reporting by Mustafa Marie