How Are Arab Countries Celebrating World Book and Copyright Day?

For those of us in Cairo, it seems that Shorouk Bookstores is offering the best WB & CD discount, at 20%, but other stores (BookSpot), chains (Alef), and government entities (GEBO) are also offering money-off deals.

For those in Sharjah or Dubai, you should go to the  children’s reading festival that opened today. And I just noted that Moroccans are going to read books before the parliament. The theme is: “Culture in the face of absurdity.” If you’re in Lebanon, Antoine Bookstores is having an exhibition of Spanish books and books about Spain in collaboration with Cervantes Institute in Downtown Beirut.

Other suggestions pitched on the Egypt Independent include:

Read in the open. Several cities beyond Tunis — including Kairouan, Tunisia and Strasbourg, France — are celebrating World Book Day by encouraging people to read their books in public. Readers are encouraged to bring books to cafes, the metro, buses, streets, public squares, and to share them with others.

Listen to Cervantes in Spanish and in Arabic. Cairenes can visit the Cervantes Institute in Dokki today for readings of Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” in its original Spanish and in Arabic translation. The novel will be read continuously from noon until 7:45 pm, surely taxing the organizers’ vocal chords. However, this nearly eight-hour reading pales before the “5th Reading Marathon in Mexico.” Students and professors at Colima University will celebrate World Book Day by reading for 12 continuous hours. Each reader must get up and read for a minimum of three minutes.

Read a translation. The theme of this year’s book day is translation. Since 1979, UNESCO member states have logged more than 2 million translations in their translation index, which is available online. UNESCO also provides translation statistics, including the top translated authors in each country (Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare top Egypt’s lists) and the authors most translated from a given language (Arabic’s top five are a mixed bag, with Naguib Mahfouz, Saddam Hussein, Khalil Gibran, al-Ghazzali, and Sayyid Qutb). The lists, although interesting, are likely out of date. Continue celebrating on the Egypt Independent.



Categories: literary events

2 replies

  1. In Lebanon, Antoine Bookstores is having an exhibition of Spanish books and books about Spain in collaboration with Cervantes Institute in Downtown Beirut.

    • I thought I saw Antoine was having an event, but then I couldn’t find anything on your Twitter timeline. Thanks!

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