Cairo International Book Fair launches on January 26 with holograms and VR exhibit

Technology is one of the fair's focal points this year

The 53rd Cairo International Book Fair will run in the Egyptian capital from January 26 to February 7, featuring more than 1,000 publishers. Ed Robertson / Unsplash
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The 53rd Cairo International Book Fair will start in the Egyptian capital on January 26 and close on February 7, the country’s culture minister said at a press conference on Monday.

Egypt's Identity – Culture & the Question of the Future is the theme of the much-anticipated literary festival attended by millions every year.

The fair usually takes place during the Egyptian school winter break so its target demographic, children and young adults, have time to attend, although last year it was postponed until June because of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 1,000 publishers from more than 50 countries are expected to participate.

Every year, one country is chosen as the main guest, and its authors and famous works are singled out by the fair. Greece has been chosen this year.

Last year’s guest of honour was Spain and the country’s ambassador attended the opening.

This year, the fair will be launched by Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and will take place at Cairo’s largest exhibition hall, the 40,000-square-metre Egypt International Exhibition Centre.

Technology will be one of the main themes, said Culture Minister Ines Abdel Dayem, who also announced that the state-owned General Egyptian Book Organisation will this year, for the first time, offer electronic versions of some of the titles, including the 16-volume Encyclopaedia of Ancient Egypt by prominent Egyptologist Selim Hassan.

Egyptian Culture Minister Ines Abdel Dayem speaking at a press conference to announce the launch of the 53rd Cairo International Book Fair, which will run from January 26 to February 7 in the Egyptian capital. Photo: Egyptian Ministry of Culture

The fair is normally split in two, with one portion displaying books for adults and another featuring material for children.

Two prominent writers are chosen each year as the “personalities” of the fair, one for each section.

This year, Egyptian short story virtuoso Yahya Haqqi (1905-1992) is the adult edition’s honouree. Haqqi will be projected through hologram technology in one of the interactive exhibits, marking the first use of this kind of technology at the festival.

Meanwhile, Egyptian author Abdel Tawab Youssef will be the children’s personality and one of his short stories has been adapted into a film which will be shown using virtual reality.

In addition to a number of prizes awarded for various honours each year, the event will mark the launch of a new prize, one awarded to the best participating publisher.

The cash total of the festival’s prizes has been increased from EGP 10,000 ($636) to EGP 40,000.

Tickets to the fair are EGP 5 and must be booked online before the event for Covid-19 safety reasons.

More information is at cairobookfair.gebo.gov.eg

Watch a video from the 52nd Cairo International Book Fair:

Updated: January 18, 2022, 1:02 PM
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