Book lovers may be surprised to find a bustling used book market in the heart of Cairo, Egypt.
Book lovers may be surprised to find a bustling used book market in the heart of Cairo, Egypt. For 50 years the open-air market has done a brisk trade in everything from old magazines and English classics to brand new copies of the Koran. The market, in Opera Square, is nicknamed Montmartre, after a similar area on the Left Bank of Paris.
Started for students as education standards increased in Egypt, the market was originally in Old Cairo, but moved to Opera Square where the books were displayed on the pavements. Now, wooden kiosks display French, English, German and Arabic books, including hundreds of medical texts.
An outdated medical encyclopedia costs about GBP20, and book-buyers, many of them tourists, can find leather bound volumes by Charles Dickens and magazines over 50 years old.
SYNOPSIS: For almost 50 years used booksellers have done a brisk business in an open-air market in Cairo, Egypt.
An enterprising bargain hunter can browse through the wooden kiosks surrounding downtown Opera Square and find everything form an outdated British medical encyclopedia to a leather bound volume by Charles Dickens.
The market, nicknamed Montmartre after a similar area in Paris, still has piles of books on the pavements as it did when it first started selling to the growing number of Egyptian student who later re-sold them there on completing their degrees.
Many tourists can find old books or magazines from home, such as a 1915 copy of The Strand, and English magazine. Not all the books are old, however. A stand that is selling books dating to 1915 also displays brand new copies of The Islamic holy book The Koran.