“Temporary” Minister of Culture Zahi Hawass (yes, Zahi Hawass) has said that the 43rd Cairo International Book Fair may yet run in May, following fairs in Riyadh, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. Meanwhile, AUC Press announced that they were organizing an alternative “Tahrir Book Fair” at the downtown campus.
Egyptian publishers potentially had much to mourn after the Publishers Association announced on Wednesday that the 43rd Cairo International Book Fair would be indefinitely suspended. Yet it has been difficult to find a glum face, and many publishers and booksellers are meeting the new era with new ideas.
In response to the suspension of the 2011 Cairo book fair, the American University in Cairo (AUC) Press announced plans for a “Tahrir Book Fair,” to be held at the downtown campus at the end of March. According to the publishing house’s R. Neil Hewison, the Tahrir fair will be open to the general public, “to give back something of the lost Cairo International Book Fair to readers, albeit on a smaller scale.”
Other publishers will be invited to sell their books, Hewison said, adding that they hoped “to have a good mix of Arabic and English books.”
Other literary events:
Kotob Khan, in New Ma’adi, will re-start its cultural program at the beginning of March with a month of Mahfouz.
Alaa Al Aswany will be reading from his new book, On the State of Egypt: A Novelist’s Provocative Reflections on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m., at the AUC Press bookstore on Tahrir Square.