As the Cairo International Book Fair approaches next Wednesday and celebrates its 50th anniversary, the controversy over the largest book fair in the Middle East, compared to the results of its transfer from the city of Nasr to the east of Cairo to New Cairo to the periphery of the capital, If this will affect the turnout rate.
Cairo – Sputnik. There are many questions about the impact of the publishing industry and the circulation of books on economic conditions and on electronic publishing, on cultural and political conditions and on changes in the direction of readers and their trends.
Member of the Supreme Committee of the Cairo International Book Fair and member of the Freedom of Expression Committee of the International Federation of Publishers, Sharif Baker, stresses that the change in the headquarters of the Cairo International Book Fair was inevitable and that the & rsquo; impact of its transfer to New Cairo would have been limited.
"It is certain that changing the location of the exhibition and moving it from the east of Cairo to its new headquarters in New Cairo will be effective, but the impact will be limited because the next session is the fiftieth session, which has a special meaning. , and will absorb most of the impact of the exhibition, Transportation was inevitable, because the old site ended its life four years ago, and transportation was sooner or later, and the choice of this moment is the most appropriate ", explaining that most of the exhibitions took place outside the main cities and around.
"I do not see the negative impact of electronic publishing on the printed book, it's like the relationship between radio, television and the Internet, there's a multiplicity of media and media, but they do not replace each other," he said . "Today, radio, television, the modes of culture and knowledge printed are contiguous and integrated".
Bakr denied that the show saw the exclusion or ban of any book. "The Cairo exhibition is one of the few exhibitions in the region that has not banned or banned books.There is no censorship of publications and no confiscation except in the context of what the law criminalizes".
"The attitudes of readers are changing, the religious book has been at the top of the list of readers' concerns. Now the novel is at the forefront. The translated books have a large audience, police books, horror books, the politics in its simple sense, and of course, the religious book has a clear interest ".
Bakr stressed that book prices are the fundamental dilemma for the reader. "Due to the doubling of the exchange rate, book prices have doubled: the increase in prices of local books has increased by 100%, because the printing materials are imported.
He stressed that the increase also affected the publication movement, he said: "There are no complete statistics published, but from the issue of the deposit numbers in the Book House we can say that the number of securities issued in the The last year of about 25 thousand books, which represents the stability or decline of the publication rate, This because of economic reasons, publishers are reluctant to venture in light of the high printing costs and high prices of books.
"The decision to move the exhibition site was postponed for many reasons, and the services in the old site were very low, and the old site is no longer suitable for the name of Egypt and on the date of the exhibition, it may be interested" , he said in an exclusive statement to Sputnik. "The demand for the exhibition will be slightly higher after the transfer, but the demand will increase on the other due to the improvement of services at the new location, so we will not hear a low turnout, especially with convenient transportation from all major fields. exhibition, transport and services inside the exhibition. "
Rashad said the controversy over the impact of e-publishing on the printed book is exaggerated. "We have always raised battles and problems from none, the developed countries where electronic publishing has spread, there has not been a decline in the printed book, on the contrary, From 10 to 12% The publication depends on the content rather than by the media: from the time of publication on clay and papyrus tablets, to electronic publishing, from printing, to microfilms, to CDs, etc., the media have diversified and now the printed paper is robust despite all the developments.
"There are problems in the publishing sector in Egypt, and the Arab world will only be solved by intervention and government support: the most important factors are the rate of illiteracy, the reluctance of students to read and Attack on intellectual property, "he said. A contraction of large book markets in the region due to political situations such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya, as well as the high costs of paper and printing, which affect the price.
"The Arab world produces between 35 and 40 thousand books a year, and this percentage seems modest in all the Arab countries, only Spain produces about 45 thousand books a year and the proportion of Egypt on the total number of books products in the Arab region from 25 to 30 in But if we delete government books and government publications, the percentage will decrease significantly. "
"We have not received any complaints about the prohibition or confiscation, and the origin of the publication is allowed, but we also refuse to publish any book that incites hate or terrorism or extremism", he denied Rashad.
For its part, the director of the artistic and cultural programs at the Shawkat Masri Book Fair that moving the fair from Nasr City to New Cairo will not affect the demand for the exhibition, saying in exclusive statements to Sputnik "On the contrary, he expects to dock at the exhibition, a plan was prepared to counter this congestion. "
The Cairo International Book Fair was launched for the first time in 1969 in the island's exhibition centers, the site now occupied by the Opera. The exhibition moved to the Nasr City exhibition center, east of Cairo in 1983, a site that continued until last year, before it was decided to move to the Egyptian international exhibition center in New Cairo.
Throughout its history, the Book Fair has evolved from a bookstore to a cultural and artistic season and a venue for Arab and international cultural interaction. The Egyptian and Egyptian political developments were also reflected in the exhibition arena: the following exhibition seasons saw the signing of the Egyptian peace agreement with Israel and semi-annual demonstrations against the presence of an Israeli wing in the exhibition, with demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinian intifada at the beginning of the millennium. The symposiums of the exhibition saw the start of the years' famous clashes between the Islamic fundamentalist movement and the flow of enlightenment.
The exhibition will host 1273 Egyptian, Arab and foreign publishers, with 170 Arab and foreign guests, 800 cultural and artistic events and 600 signature ceremonies.