The General Egyptian Book Organization Decides to Wrestle a Lion

If you’ve been following the news in Egypt, you’ve likely heard of the poor (delusional) soul who’s decided to fight a poor (non-delusional) lion, which he purchased on the black market. If you haven’t, then read the lion-fighter’s Q&A with Ali Abdel Mohsen, where the fighter comes across as some strange mash-up character out of Midaq Alley meets “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.”

Meanwhile, the General Egyptian Book Organization (GEBO) seems to have caught a strain of this quixotic virus, and is planning to hold a make-up, semi-international book fair during Ramadan. That is, in August. And not on the fairgrounds, but on Faisal Street.

I first saw the news on Youm7’s new English-language website, which they have soft-launched.

You can now find daily English-language arts & culture coverage from Cairo, of varying quality, on:


Al Masry Al Youm

Daily News Egypt

Ahram Online

And weekly on:

Al Ahram Weekly


  1. Completely POTTY! I mean the GEBO plan. Mass book fair in the hottest month of the year when people are fasting and shorter-tempered than usual??? As delusional as the lion-fighting mash-up character, no?

  2. Well, yes. (Plus no one has extra money on hand for books during Ramadan…) Although ultimately the GEBO is less entertaining.

  3. This has had me shaking my head with amusement all day. I live on Faisal Street and I can’t imagine a worse place to have any sort of fair. Presumably in one of those tents, set up on a barren patch of land, where they sell cheap household goods!

  4. All right, we can have it at my house…

  5. Any news on when the Cairo Book Fair 2012 will take place?

    1. No, although I’m assuming end of January/beginning of February, just as in previous years… Otherwise, it steps on the toes of other fairs in the region.

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