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Public attendance at the 54th Cairo International Book Fair began today, which is attended by 1,047 publishing houses from 53 countries. 707 of them are Egyptians, while 340 are foreigners, including Hungary and the Dominican Republic, which are participating for the first time.

Many countries and institutions are returning after years of absence, including Eritrea, India, Ghana, Kuwait, Morocco, the African Publishers Network, the Kuwaiti Research and Studies Centre, and the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research.

A 45-square-metre wing will be designated for startup publishers, which will include nine Egyptian publishers whose number of publications does not meet the fair’s participation requirements.

The Ministry of Culture had previously announced that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is this year’s guest of honour and the late Egyptian poet Salah Jaheen is this year’s personality, while the Egyptian writer Kamel Kilani, who is one of the pioneers of children’s literature across the Arab world, is the personality of the year at the children’s exhibition.

For the first time, the 54th edition of the fair will feature a Youtubers Forum, which will host successful content creation models on a daily basis.

New Cairo’s International Exhibition Centre will host this year’s fair starting 26 January and running until 6 February. Opening hours are 10 am-8 pm, except on Fridays and Saturdays when it closes at 9 pm. Online registration is available for those wishing to attend the fair