Cairo International Book Fair postponed due to COVID-19

A security guard checks the temperature of a man before he enters a mosque in Cairo on Monday. (Reuters)
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Updated 25 November 2020

Cairo International Book Fair postponed due to COVID-19

  • The committee discussed developments in the world over the pandemic and its impact on other book fairs

CAIRO: The Supreme Administrative Committee of the Cairo International Book Fair announced that this year’s fair will be postponed to June 30, 2021, due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The committee, headed by Enas Abdel Dayem, Egypt’s minister of culture, also decided to add an additional four days to the delayed festival schedule, seeing it run until July 15.

Greece was set to participate in the festival, and arrangements are being made to ensure continuity for next year’s event to celebrate the depth of historical and cultural relations between the two countries. According to an official statement, the committee discussed developments in the world over the pandemic and its impact on other book fairs, which has led to multiple other cancellations and postponements.

The meeting discussed the participation of international institutions and Arab and foreign publishers, who are expected to face difficulty traveling between countries due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Saeed Abdo, president of the Egyptian Publishers Union, said that the decision was inevitable.

“We are linked to foreign publishers, not just Egyptians, and there is great difficulty in traveling between countries, so we decided to postpone it until June,” Abdo said.

“The postponement will not affect those involved in the fair, but will provide the opportunity for the participation of a larger number of people,” he added.


Iran kicks off ground forces drill on coast of Gulf of Oman

Updated 19 January 2021

Iran kicks off ground forces drill on coast of Gulf of Oman

  • Commando units and airborne infantry were participating in the annual exercise along with air assets

TEHRAN: Iran’s military kicked off a ground forces drill on Tuesday along the coast of the Gulf of Oman, state TV reported, the latest in a series of snap exercises that the country is holding amid escalating tensions over its nuclear program and Washington’s pressure campaign against Tehran.
According to the report, commando units and airborne infantry were participating in the annual exercise, along with fighter jets, helicopters and military transport aircraft. Iran’s National Army chief Abdolrahim Mousavi was overseeing the drill.
Iran has recently stepped up military drills as part of an effort to pressure President-elect Joe Biden over the nuclear deal that President Donald Trump pulled out of. Biden has said the US could rejoin the multinational accord meant to contain Iran’s nuclear program.
On Saturday, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill, launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at a simulated target at a distance of some 1,800 kilometers (1,120 miles) in the Indian Ocean, a day after the Guard’s aerospace division launched surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and drones against “hypothetical enemy bases” in the country’s vast central desert.
Last Thursday, Iran’s navy fired cruise missiles as part of a naval drill in the Gulf of Oman, under surveillance of what appeared to be a US nuclear submarine. Earlier last week, the Guard’s affiliated forces carried out a limited maneuver in the Arabian Gulf after a massive, drones-only drill across half of the country earlier in January.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased amid a series of incidents stemming from Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. In the final days of the Trump administration, Tehran seized a South Korean oil tanker and begun enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels, while the US sent B-52 bombers, the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and a nuclear submarine into the region.
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. Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program among other issues in withdrawing from the accord.
When the US then stepped up economic sanctions, Iran gradually abandoned the limits that the deal had imposed on its nuclear development.