Cairo International Book Fair

Cairo International Book Fair
The Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF) is the largest and longest-running book fair in the Arab states, as well as one of the world’s biggest book-related events. It is managed by the General Egyptian Book Organization, a state-owned publisher and book retailer association.

The inaugural Cairo International Book Fair was held in 1969 as part of the city’s 1000th anniversary celebrations. The fair has been held almost every year since its inception, taking place during the last week of January and the first week of February. The only exception was the year 2011, when the event was canceled due to the January 25 Revolution in Egypt.

One of the biggest book fairs in the world, the Cairo International Book Fair draws hundreds of publishers and booksellers from various countries, as well as nearly 2 million visitors. The event is notable for featuring a lot of Cairo-based publishers that produce an estimated 60% of Arabic language books printed in the world.

The CIBF is mainly aimed at the general public, and its main goals are to provide a well-stocked book market to an Egyptian audience, facilitate cultural exchange, and help authors and publishers connect with readers.

The CIBF offers a rich and diverse program for attendees of all ages and backgrounds. The book expo features publishers from around the world, offering thousands of titles in Arabic, English and other languages, as well as audio books, video, and other media.

Events and activities held at the fair include public readings, lectures, book signings, meetings with established and up-and-coming authors, book launches and presentations, discussions and debates on mainstream topics, various outdoor events, family activities, and even firework displays.

Unfortunately, the CIBF has been marred by some controversy in the past decade or so. During Hosni Mubarak’s regime, certain books were banned from the fair due to featuring criticism of the current regime, as well as topics deemed culturally or sexually controversial. Foreign authors whose works have been banned by Egyptian authorities include Milan Kundera, Mohamed Choukri, Ibrahim Badi, Hanan al-Sheikh, and Elias Khoury.

Cairo International Book Fair

Photo: Mohd Tarmizi




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