Cairo Bookstore Aims to Be a Place ‘Where a Book Can Feel Safe’


Bookstore owner and publisher Karam Youssef is at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair for the first time in 2015, and was scheduled to give a talk on “Sharing Experiences: Running a Bookstore.” Here, she shares some of the insights she prepared for her talk in a piece that — in part — ran in the ADIBF’s Show Daily magazine:

Photo from the Kotob Khan website. Photo from the Kotob Khan Facebook page.

Karam Youssef started out as a mass-media major at Cairo University, after which she worked for fifteen years with AT&T and Hewlett Packard. But all this time, she said, it was her dream to work with books. In a talk she prepared for the fair’s professional program, she discussed how running a bookstore is not just about selling books, but about building community.

Youssef first opened the first branch of her bookstore, Kotob Khan, a neighborhood in southern Cairo.

“It was my wish…

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