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The Cairo International Book Fair Kicks Off Today

The 47th Cairo International Book Fair kicks off today in Nasr City. Bringing in an estimated two million people annually, this year's event includes, for the first time, an additional three-day program aiming at bringing publishers and authors together.

The 47th annual Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF) starts today the 27th of January at the Cairo International Convention Center in Nasr City, and will conclude its proceedings on the 10th of February. The CIBF is the Middle East's biggest and oldest book festival, and it is without a doubt the most influential, as it has been attracting an estimated 2,000,000 visitors annually.

This year the CIBF is breaking its own record for the number of participating countries, with 850 publishers from 34 countries taking part, making it the year with most participants yet. This year the festival's theme will be 'Culture on the Frontline.' As reported by AL-Ahram Online, the head of the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO) Haitham El-Hajj says, "Culture is the main solution to the problems of society and the firewall against the extreme ideas.”

Unlike previous years, Turkey will not be participating in the fair. Allegedly, El-Hajj told Al-Ahram that even though Turkey did not submit a request, if it had we would have reacted negatively to such a country harbouring hostility towards Egypt. Qatar however - a country in the midst of political tension with Egypt - is one of the participating countries. Guest of honour this year is Bahrain, and the Character of the Fair title goes to Gamal El-Gheitany.

This year, a three-day professional program is taking place from the 29th till the 31st, with aims of bringing publishers and authors from around the world together under the same roof.

For more info on the fair checkout their Facebook page.