For many, the two words “blind date” have negative connotations. They mean a night of unknown horrors with unknown people, with the promise of boredom and revulsion. However, a new trend is emerging that is changing the concept because the characters in the blind date are fictitious and boredom is not guaranteed, because your date is a book.
On Friday, 13 September, people are invited on one such date. We spoke with one of the organizers, Aya Zain.
“The title that we gave our event, Blind Date with a Book, is the main theme; we want buyers to purchase a book just by knowing the genre and not the title, hence stressing on the well known phrase, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’,” Zain explained.
The event is organised by Egypt for Cultural and Educational Development Association (ECEDA), a new Non-Governmental Organisation. “ECEDA has been working on small projects to raise awareness for culture, arts, and all sort[s] of creative development, while focusing on Nasr City, an area in Cairo that doesn’t have enough awareness and events for culture as much as Maadi or Zamalek even. The host of this event is Geneina Cultural and Educational Center right next to Geneina Mall,” Zain explained.
Zain added that it is common for many people to have old books that they no longer read. The night begins by people donating their old books, which are then wrapped and labelled by their genres instead of titles and authors’ names. “We were inspired by the fact that many book lovers in Cairo are excited for new books to read. Also, many readers find themselves not going to use or read a book they already have, so this event is also a great initiative to donate books they might have lying around,” Zain said.
She stressed on the fact that it is not just about buying books, but about being able to give back to the community:“ There are plenty of creative outlets of sharing and raising awareness for culture abroad, so we thought we would take these ideas and implement them here in Cairo.”
The event should prove beneficial, not only in possibly finding your dream book, but also: “We hope for our audience to come, buy books, and meet their fellow book lovers and their favourite literature. The event is also a new exciting way to buy something that is going to be a surprise,” Zain added.
The day should prove to be fun as well: “The event will more or less be an open-day for the customers to come in. Our sponsor, Pepsi, will offer free drinks. Later in the day, we will have local talents performing some lounge music to create an atmosphere. There will also be a raffle ticket prize for five people who buy our books,” Zain said.
In addition, Zain is hopeful that the event will be repeated in the recent future.