UN chief urges restraint after US drone downed    WHO applauds Egypt's support to 14 African countries in their fight against hepatitis C    Egypt's Sisi receives an honorary doctorate from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies    Egypt removes 'god of death' Anubis from Nations Cup opening ceremony    AFCON 2019: Promoting football tourism in Egypt    Art Alert: Mediterranean music band Estabena at Room New Cairo    Manchester City's Zinchenko extends contract until 2024    CAF president praises Egypt's Sisi for organising 2019 AFCON in five months    In Photos: Egyptian Museum in Tahrir inaugurates new path for the visually impaired    Russian wheat offered lowest at Egypt's GASC tender at $196.86/T    New UK PM must change red lines to renegotiate Brexit deal, Dutch PM says    Algeria remains in throes    Trending xenophobia    United against corruption    Correcting misperceptions    From the trading floor    Losing is not an option    Six stars    The trophy    Playing victim    Food on Facebook    Beef olives with an Oriental twist    Getting a healthy summer glow    Morsi dies    Africa welcomed home    Tanker war puts pressure on Iran    Singer Nesma Mahgoub at Cairo Opera House Summer Festival    Mervat Shazly showing at Salama art gallery    The mummies go to the NMEC    Muslim Brotherhood: Playing victim    Egyptian Nubians affected by High Dam construction to be compensated : Aswan governor    Egypt FM spokesman condemns OHCHR statement on Morsi's death for 'lack of integrity and objectivity'    Shell says staff in Iraq safe, operations are normal after rocket attack    France leads the world in mistrust of vaccines    Iran says Europe not cooperating in buying Iranian oil: Fars news    Egypt's State Information Service slams Human Rights Watch director's tweets on Morsi's death    Salma Al Saady Revisits World's Greatest Paintings    Misr Italia achieves EGP 2bn in sales of its projects in 5 months    CBE allocates EGP 50bn for mortgage finance for middle-income people    Hurghada starts banning single plastic bags use    Israel uses rubber bullets against Palestinians at Al-Aqsa Mosque    Israel strikes Syrian targets after rockets fired at Golan Heights    Saudi Arabia celebrates Eid al-Fitr with 13 Arab artists    'Paranormal' loyal readers reveal expectations, fears over Netflix new series    Egypt releases 351 inmates on occasion of Sinai Liberation Day    CAF Champions League final total embarrassment    Al-Ashmawi extradited to Egypt    Tazkarty, online booking for AFCON tickets launched    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Two days later
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 05 - 01 - 2011

The 43rd Cairo International Book Fair is to open on 22 January, or is it? Nevine El-Aref finds out
Following a week of indecision, the 43rd round of the Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF) will open on 22 January, two days before the usual opening date.
Early this week, when culture minister Shaker Abdel Hamid announced that the official inauguration of CIBF would be delayed to 1 February, Egyptian publishers and book lovers were fearful of a repeat of the 2011 scenario; they voiced strong objections.
At this time last year, officials kept confirming without a doubt that the 43th round of CIBF would take place as scheduled despite events indicated otherwise. A day before the opening, Egypt's January revolution broke out and the event was cancelled for the first time ever.
Attempts were by the ministry of culture to compensate publishers for losses incurred �ê" the Faisal Book Fair was organised last September, for example �ê" but nothing could be a substitute for the biggest and the most important fair in the Middle East.
This year the official reason for the initial delay was security: on the anniversary of the revolution, chaos elsewhere in the country might make it impossible to protect CIBF and its visitors.
Publishers would have none of it. In an objection statement issued by the Egyptian Publishers Union, union head Mohamed Rashad wrote that the ministry of culture's decision was taken unilaterally without consulting with the union or giving convincing reasons.
Rashad called on SCAF to interfere immediately to stop the delay in order to protect Egypt's publishing industry and the international reputation of CIBF.
The statement also pointed out that the army, having been well capable of protecting the parliamentary elections, it would have no trouble safeguarding CIBF.
"Inaugurating the CIBF on time is a promotion of Egypt's stability which in its turn will encourage tourists to return Egypt," the statement said, adding, "How is it that the police is able to safeguard football matches but not such a great cultural event?"
The delay of CIBF for two successive years, the statement added, would undermine the credibility of the fair and make it inconsistent with other regular Arab book fairs. "It is really a great loss," asserted Rashad, explaining that such a delay would force Arab and international publishers to withdraw from CIBF because of commitments to other fairs. They would also ask for the return of their participation fees and compensation for financial losses for the second time in a row. The statement concluded on a grave note:
"We, the Egyptian Publishers Union, object to the decision taken to delay the CIBF inauguration and the union is in permanent session until the problem is solved."
Ahmed Megahed, the head of the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO), later announced that he would discuss the issue with the minister of culture, the cabinet and security officials in order to see to it the CIBF is opened on 22 January.
In collaboration with the culture committee at the press syndicate, activists have since launched a campaign to support the inauguration of CIBF on time, calling for hosting a round table at the syndicate to discuss the initiative.
On Tuesday night, Abdel Hamid announced that the CIBF is to be inaugurated on 22 January at the fair grounds in Nasr City and will last until 7 February.
Megahed, who appreciates the decision, told Al-Ahram Weekly that his efforts have finally bore fruit and both the minister of culture and the cabinet approved his suggestion to inaugurate the CIBF two days earlier than it was scheduled.
"It is a relief," he asserted, adding that the solution works in the interest of both the fair and publishers.
The Investment Pavilion was chosen to be the international hall for the official inauguration, he said. Under the title "A year since the 25 January Revolution", CIBF hosts 29 Arab and foreign countries with Tunisia is the guest of honour.

Clic here to read the story from its source.