The 44th Cairo International Book Fair was held successfully in Cairo, Egypt. The event was inaugurated by President of Egypt, Mohamed Mursi. The fair was held at Nasr City’s Fair Ground and was open till February 5, 2013. More than 730 publishers from 25 Arab and foreign countries, including 493 Egyptians, 17 Arab publishers, and eight non-Arab publishers participated at the event. Organizers, the General Egyptian Book Organization (GEBO) said that it will grant 100 million Egyptian pounds to the fair as a measure to protect the participants from any acts of violence, that may arise in between.
After inaugurating the event, the President met with a group of Egyptian exhibitors and publishers and discussed with them the challenges faced by the publishing industry in Egypt as well as talked about the measures that the government could provide to help the industry.
The Cairo Book Fair is considered to be one of the biggest book fairs in Middle East and one of the oldest in the world. After the revolution in Egypt, this is the first time that the book fair has been conducted. Nearly 2 million people visit the fair annually. Encouraged by the considerable number of visitors to Azbakiya, this year the General Egyptian Book Organization named one section of the exhibition after that area.
GEBO had earlier said that Libya would be the guest of honour at the current book fair as part of its plan to host Arab Spring states. Tunisia was the guest of honour for the 2012 edition. Nearly 250 artists and authors attended the Libyan program during the exhibition.