Key words: Russia, Egypt, culture, books
V. V. BELYAKOV
Doctor of Historical Sciences
From January 28 to February 13, 2010, Russia participated as an honorary guest in the 42nd Cairo International Book Fair. Various books and thematic expositions were presented in the Russian pavilion; the delegation also included a group of writers. Russian printed materials aroused great interest among the local public and the press, while the Egyptians expressed their wishes that the Russian side pay more attention to the publication of literature in Arabic.
If you ask Egyptian intellectuals what they think is the most important cultural event of the year, nine out of ten will probably say: "The Cairo International Book Fair." The exhibition town where it takes place is comparable in size to the Moscow All-Russian Exhibition Center. Up to 3 million books, mostly in Arabic, are displayed in 11 huge pavilions and numerous tents. To make life easier for visitors to the fair, free buses run from the four main squares of the capital, including the station station, to the fair town, and the railway gives a 50% discount on tickets to Cairo. Egyptians claim that the Cairo Book Fair is second only to the Frankfurt Book Fair in terms of its scale.
The Egyptian leadership pays great attention to books, rightly believing that they remain the main source of knowledge necessary for the country's dynamic development. Since 1991, Egypt has hosted the annual Reading for All festival, timed to coincide with the summer school holidays. His task is to teach children to read the book. Two decades have yielded good results: interest in reading has increased significantly. The Cairo fair is usually visited by about 2 million people, and sometimes even more, and no one leaves without buying, and this is due not only to the huge selection of books, but also to significant discounts on them. Religious and nonfiction literature, as well as textbooks, are in the greatest demand. However, this year there wer ... Read more