In a form of confirming the return of Egypt to the forefront of the cultural scene and amid a global media crowd، the 49th edition of the Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF)، kicked off last Friday by the Minister of Culture، Dr. Inas Abdel Dayam، at the Cairo International Convention Centre، in Nasr City، where it witnessed a high turnout from Egyptians since then.
The Minister of Culture expressed her happiness for the huge participation of the various publishing houses، stressing that the intensive activities of Cairo International Book Fair produce a cultural movement that reflects positively on the society، aiming to achieve development at all levels، and promoting public thought to face attempts of destruction and sabotage.
The CIBF runs from January 26 to February 10، with the theme for the year is "Soft Power: How?”، and CIBF's Person of the Year is Abdel Rahman al-Sharkawi.
The late Egyptian writer Abdel Rahman al-Sharkawi was chosen as the character of this edition due to his long history of writing about Algeria. He is the scenarist of Djamila Bouhired، in addition to his hundred literary novels، as well as his journalistic long history.
The 49th edition will host a lot of new activities for the first time، such as establishing theaters، cinema halls and fine arts halls، in addition to increasing the number of books dedicated to children.
It compromises 1194 pavilions along 117 stands to sell the books.
In this edition، 27 nations will participate in the Book Fair، which includes 15 Arab، 10 foreign and 3 African countries، with Algeria as the guest of honor of this edition.
Algeria is officially participating in the book fair's activities through a number of writers and writers and some 70 publishers، about 10% of Algerian publishers.
Meanwhile، the participating Arab countries include Morocco، Saudi Arabia، Bahrain، Jordan، Kuwait، Oman، Algeria، United Arab Emirates، Syria، Libya، Iraq، Lebanon، Yemen، Palestine، and Tunisia.
The participating African countries include Sudan، Somalia، and Ethiopia.
The participating foreign countries include America، Greece، Germany، France، Russia، Italy، China، Paraguay، and India.
In this edition، the number of publishers has reached 867 publishers، including 367 Arab publishers، 9 foreigners، and 3 Africans، 485 Egyptian publishers (7 press organizations and 34 government institutions)
The book fair also offers a cultural and artistic program divided into 16 official halls.
It is expected that the number of visitors to five million visitors this year، an increase of one million visitors from last year.
Al-Azhar Al-Sharif participates for the second year in the Cairo International Book Fair، but this year's participation was characterized by strong and effective attendance، which can be observed once entering the fairground.
Al Azhar section this year has not neglected the attention of the shape and attention to the content، which can be easily noticed when you go there، starting with the choice of a distinct location and the ideal space and taking into consideration the presence of several entrances and exits that facilitate the flow of visitors، Which expresses the character of Al-Azhar and its unique spirit، in addition to the use of the latest technical means to provide a scientific content to the public، thus combining the heritage of history and heritage، and the modernity of means and methods.
The section has been divided into several categories comprised of various organizations and activities of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif. The most prominent is the "Islamic Research Complex" corner، which offers a collection of 130 books and studies that varies from language and jurisprudence، thought and belief.
Among the activities that attracted a large number of visitors at the book fair was "Al-Azhar Panorama"، a showroom that shows the history of Al-Azhar Sharif in an interesting cinematic presentation.
For the fourth day in a row، “Al Azhar Panorama” offers attracted hundreds of visitors to the Al-Azhar section at the 49th edition of the Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF)، allowing them to make a virtual journey goes back to thousand years، through a panoramic screen that blends heritage and civilization with the latest multimedia science.
Al Azhar Memory offered an interactive presentation of the heritage of Al-Azhar. For the first time، the audience saw different elements of the history of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif via a visible and audible method in a coherent and attractive way.
The panorama included several aspects، forefront the history of Al-Azhar documentation of its honorable stands، the biography of the Azhar sheikhs documentation of their works and achievements، Al-Azhar mosque architectural heritage and the ancient religious institutes' documentation، presented in Arabic، English and French dialects.
Al-Azhar Memory Panorama is one of the fruits of the joint cooperation between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology، the Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage، and the Al-Azhar Library، and aims to shed light on the role of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif throughout the ages in spreading moderation، containment the differences between the Islamic sects، and its ongoing efforts in preserving the Islamic identity.
The Islamic Research Academy at the Al-Azhar section presented a book entitled "Objective Perspectives" on humanitarian issues by Professor Mohieldin Afifi، Secretary General of the Islamic Research Academy. The book highlights some important intellectual issues and presents them in an objective manner.
The book discusses the issue of peace and the pillars of its achievement among different societies and cultures. It then reviews the Islamic perspective on human relations، discusses the issue of dialogue with youth and empowering them in life، and highlights the importance of scientific research.
The book also reflects on some problems in the society such as fraud، monopolism، pollution and violence، and reviews Al-Azhar's strategy in the face of extremist ideology.
Researchers and those interested in countering extremism have found their goal in the section of Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism، which has produced numerous publications and specialized studies this year. It has 15 books، the most important of which is "Why is Boko Haram deadliest groups in the world?”، "The Muslims of Burma"، "Returning from ISIS".
The Observatory also offered a number of cultural seminars by professors and academics specialized to discuss these issues in depth.
"2018 year of Jerusalem" was the name of one of Al-Azhar categories، which comes after the invitation of the Grand Imam at the Al-Azhar World Conference to support Jerusalem to allocate 2018 the year of Jerusalem، and includes a section of the literature that emphasizes the Arabism of Jerusalem، most notably the book "Arabism of Jerusalem. And the role of Al-Azhar in its victory، "which has received a large turnout from the book fair attendee، which presents information is central and important to raise awareness of the dimensions of the Palestinian issue and the Arabism of Jerusalem and refute the Zionist claims to the right to the city.
The fairgoers، especially those interested in heritage and manuscripts، also found a rare opportunity to read very rare original manuscripts presented by Al-Azhar Library at the book fair this year. Some of these manuscripts are not found anywhere else in the world.
They also have a greater opportunity to satisfy their scientific and intellectual ambitions through Al-Azhar University، where the University allows the people to register and benefit from about 50،000 scientific messages and 200،000 books in the University’s Central Library.
Noor magazine corner has also attracted a large number of children and their accompanying families to view the magazine and the activities، offering them educational content suitable for their ages in an interesting way، the corner also presents for the children games and activities such as painting and coloring.
Next to the magazine corner lays Al-Azhar Al-Sharif sector of Al-Azhar Institutes، displaying the students' artistic and creative works that dazzled the book fair visitors.
The institutes' sector also presents Al-Azhar curricula in the various stages and explains the efforts of renewal and development that took place in the curriculum.
The Muslim Council of Elders، headed by Al- Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmad al-Tayeb is located inside the Al-Azhar section and presenting about 20 books discussing issues of peace، coexistence، and citizenship.
Al-Azhar also allocated a special section of the Fatwa Committee consisted of a number of Al-Azhar scholars who receive visitors' questions on various religious aspects.
At a corner side، you can find dozens of people crowed over an Arab calligraphy artist who writes their names in beautiful lines and decorations، one can pass the place and return after long hours، only to find the artist still in his place، enjoying the visit of hundreds to Al Azhar section.
On his first day، he wrote over seven hundred names of visitors.
Al Azhar section also includes a corner for Al-Azhar gate and a cultural events hall where daily seminars for senior intellectuals and culture are held، and also contains a hall for those who temporarily wish to borrow and read books.
The section is open daily for visitors to know and attend the book fair.