Cairo book fair gleaming new site opens far from historic market

Cairo book fair gleaming new site opens far from historic market
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A woman checks a book at the historic Al-Azbakeya book market in Cairo, Egypt January 15, 2019. (Reuters)
Cairo book fair gleaming new site opens far from historic market
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A book seller reads a book at Cairo's historic Al-Azbakeya book market at downtown in Cairo, Egypt. (Reuters)
Cairo book fair gleaming new site opens far from historic market
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A book seller organizing books at Cairo's Al-Azbakeya book market. (Reuters)
Cairo book fair gleaming new site opens far from historic market
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Two men check books at the Al-Azbakeya book market in Cairo, Egypt. (Reuters)
Cairo book fair gleaming new site opens far from historic market
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A woman reads through a book at the Al-Azbakeya book market. (Reuters)
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A man chooses a book at Cairo's historic Al-Azbakeya book market. (Reuters)
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A book seller holds a book at Cairo's historic Al-Azbakeya book market. (Reuters)
Updated 24 January 2019

Cairo book fair gleaming new site opens far from historic market

Cairo book fair gleaming new site opens far from historic market
  • President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated the fair’s 50th edition at the Egypt International Exhibition Center
  • Customers flocked to New Cairo to avoid the crowds and squeeze of downtown, while others preferred Azbakeya for its highly competitive prices

CAIRO: The annual Cairo International Book Fair opened this week in a shiny new venue far away, literally and metaphorically, from the city’s historic book souk — and many of the old market’s merchants stayed away.
Marking the prestige of the event, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated the fair’s 50th edition at the Egypt International Exhibition Center in the affluent New Cairo area on the outskirts of the capital.
Back downtown, among the teetering stacks of mostly second-hand tomes at Azbakeya, a book market that dates back more than a century, merchants complained they had been sidelined.
Dozens of them used to exhibit at the fair’s former home in Nasr City, a district easily accessed, including by metro. This year only six were allowed to sell books at the fair after agreeing to stringent conditions.
“We did not cancel the Azbakeya wall, but we set a booklet of conditions to participate in the fair which all publishers committed to,” said Haitham Al-Hajj, head of the General Authority for Books, which organizes the event.
Authorities are keen to prevent the sale of counterfeit books, which were rampant in the Azbakeya section of the fair last year, including best-sellers such as Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
Also at issue for the Azbakeya merchants was the cost — around 1,200 Egyptian pounds ($67) — of participating, and rules on how they must display their books — stacking them up in high, disorderly piles is no longer acceptable.
“When people are selling old used books, they have a thousand titles rather than one, so, they are unable to display them in any other way, unlike a publisher. A publisher has probably a hundred titles,” said Harby Hassan, a 63-year-old Azbakeya bookseller.
The Azbakeya merchants announced their own month-long book fair from Jan. 15, competing with the international event that runs from Jan. 23 to Feb. 5.
Attendance at both was sizeable.
Customers flocked to New Cairo to avoid the crowds and squeeze of downtown, while others preferred Azbakeya for its highly competitive prices.
($1 = 17.8400 Egyptian pounds)


Iran asks watchdog not to publish ‘unnecessary’ nuke details

Iran asks watchdog not to publish ‘unnecessary’ nuke details
Updated 56 sec ago

Iran asks watchdog not to publish ‘unnecessary’ nuke details

Iran asks watchdog not to publish ‘unnecessary’ nuke details
  • Iran’s nuclear department asked IAEA to avoid publishing details on its nuclear program that may cause confusion
  • On Saturday, Germany, France and Britain pressed Iran to back off its plan to develop uranium metal

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran urged the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog to avoid publishing “unnecessary” details on Tehran’s nuclear program, state TV reported Sunday, a day after Germany, France and Britain said Tehran has “no credible civilian use” for its development of uranium metal.
The report quoted a statement from Iran’s nuclear department that asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to avoid publishing details on Iran’s nuclear program that may cause confusion.
“It is expected the international atomic energy agency avoid providing unnecessary details and prevent paving ground for misunderstanding” in the international community, the statement said. It did not elaborate.
On Saturday, Germany, France and Britain pressed Iran to back off its plan to develop uranium metal, calling it “the latest planned violation” of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The goal of the deal is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, something Iran insists it does not want to do.
“Iran has no credible civilian use for uranium metal,” they said in a joint statement. “The production of uranium metal has potentially grave military implications.”
On Thursday, the IAEA said Iran had informed it that it had begun installing equipment for the production of uranium metal. It said Tehran maintains its plans to conduct research and development on uranium metal production are part of its “declared aim to design an improved type of fuel.”
Iran reacted to the European statement Sunday saying Iran informed the UN nuclear watchdog nearly two decades ago of its plans for the “peaceful and conventional” production of uranium metal. It also said it provided updated information to the agency two years ago about its plans to produce silicide advanced fuel.
The statement said uranium metal is an “intermediate product” in the manufacture of uranium silicide, a fuel used in nuclear reactors that is safer and has more power capability than uranium oxide-based fuel, which Iran currently produces.
The three European nations alongside the US, Russia and China signed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that prohibited research and production of uranium metal.
President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the US from Iran’s nuclear deal, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. After the US then ramped up sanctions, Iran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits on its nuclear development.
President-elect Joe Biden, who was vice president when the deal was signed during the Obama administration, has said he hopes to return the US to the deal.