Chinese books are seen at the Cairo International Book Fair in Cairo, Egypt on Jan. 23, 2020. Egypt on Wednesday opened the 51st Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF), featuring 808 pavilions and 900 publishing houses. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
by Marwa Yahya
CAIRO, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese pavilion at the 51st Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF) targets cultural exchanges and interactions beside book selling.
"Selling books is not the top priority of our participation in the CIBF. We feel responsible for helping the Arab readers to know easily about China at affordable prices," Amro Mogheith, Arabic editor of Wisdom House Culture and Media Group, told Xinhua on Thursday.
Egypt opened on Wednesday the 51st edition of its two-week CIBF, which is considered the largest and oldest book fair in the Middle East and the second worldwide after Germany's Frankfurt Book Fair, featuring 808 pavilions and 900 publishing houses.
The 90-meter wide Chinese pavilion, decorated with big red lanterns, was unexpectedly crowded.
"We divided the pavilion into nine booths including educational books, tools, material as well as entertainment gifts," Mogheith said.
Books teaching the Chinese language take up the lion's share of our sales, especially Chinese Curriculum for Arabs in two parts and HSK material for beginners in learning the Chinese language, he explained.
Mogheith also said "many visitors today were keen to buy books for children about language, adventures and ethics in particular."
The pavilion also sells Chinese gifts, toys and souvenirs to promote the exchanges of the cultural products between China and the Arab countries.
"It is important for the visitors to see and touch closely the Chinese art products to understand what they read in books," he reiterated.
He said the prices of the translated books vary from 30 to 220 pounds (about 1.9-13.9 U.S. dollars), which are good prices compared to the English books.
He believed the Egyptian people are more eager to learn about China's economy and political vision, especially in light of the very good Egyptian-Chinese relations.
In the children booth, Eman Adel, a 30-year-old math teacher, was buying a white board with pencil eraser to her cousin.
She told Xinhua that "I bought an education gift with very attractive pens for the hyperactive boy to encourage him to study math."
She stressed the prices in the Chinese pavilion are lower than the stores outside the fair, adding "visiting the Chinese pavilion is very useful for those searching for children books, activities, education materials and gifts.
She also bought a cooking book to learn about the Chinese recipes, adding she tries many dishes in Chinese restaurants and wants to do it at home.
Nourhan, a housewife coming with her three kids to buy books, said she bought a book to teach her about the paper cut, noting the Chinese pavilion is a "model department for a family to find most of their needs without roaming a lot in many booths."