People browse through books on a stand at the Cairo International Book Fair, in Cairo - Reuters
CAIRO – 3 February 2018: The 49th round of the Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF) has witnessed a massive turnout on Friday, up to 400,000 visitors, bringing the total number to 2.5 million during the fair’s first week, according to Haitham al-Hajj Ali, the head of the General Egyptian Book Organization.
The high number of visitors to this year’s edition of the Cairo Book Fair is the largest of its kind, so far, compared to previous rounds, as 1 million people visited the event in its first seven days during the 2017 edition while less than 1 million visitors were recorded in 2016, thus making it one of the most alluring of Cairo book fairs.
The 49th round of CIBF was officially opened to visitors on January 27 and will last till February 10. The fair’s management expects to welcome 5 million visitors this year. Ministers of Military Production, Youth and Sports, Communications, and Local Development, intellectuals and media figures have attended the inauguration.
This year’s special guest of honor is Algeria, with 848 publishers from 27 countries, including 15 from the Arab world, two Africans and 10 from various countries. The publishers included 481 Egyptians, 367 from the Arab world, two Africans and 10 international publishers.
The 2016 edition saw a record number of participating publishers totaling 850 from 34 countries. In 2017, there were a total of 670 publishers, including 451 Egyptians, 200 Arabs, 13 international and six from African countries.
The 49th edition hosted some new activities for the first time, such as theater and cinema shows, and fine arts exhibitions, in addition to increasing the number of children books.
CIBF is the largest and oldest book market in the Arab world and the second largest worldwide after Germany's Frankfurt Book Fair.
Participant states included China, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands and others featured interesting shows and various cultural activities during the fair, attracting numerous audiences of all ages.
Al Azhar – Sunni Islam's most prestigious institution – also took part in the fair for the second year running. Its participation aimed to communicate with all society to inform them on its efforts to achieve peace and combat extremism and terrorism and also to brief them on the issue of Jerusalem.
Since its establishment in 1969, the CIBF has been regarded as one of the largest book fairs in the world, drawing hundreds of book sellers and average 2 million visitors every year.