Avid readers often find themselves getting emotionally attached to books and it becomes difficult to part with them. However, people might be more willing to part with their paperback friends if it is for a good cause. This is what Nermeen Edrees discovered when she held the first fundraising book sale in 2011.
“The idea started back in June/July 2011, when I thought that some of the revolutionary martyrs’ families who have lost their main providers may appreciate getting Ramadan supplies as a gesture of letting them know that they are not alone. Even though they were missing a member of the family, they would find that they were not alone, with people who would do anything to lessen the burden of the first Ramadan away from their beloveds. We thought the book sale would be a good idea for a fundraiser to support a Ramadan Supplies Campaign,” Edrees explained.
Edrees was the brains behind the operation and she called upon her friends to help. “This is how it goes; I propose the theme and volunteers help with the logistics, books collecting, event organising and the sales and coordination during the day. There are fixed volunteers since the first event like Eman Abdel Rahman, Inji Amr, Rehab Ragaee, Mahmoud Hafez, and many others,” Edrees said.
Edrees did not expect the fundraiser to continue but the book sale has become an annual event by popular demand. Edrees recalls the past fundraisers and where the collected money went: “Till now we have had three events, the first one was for Martyrs Family Ramadan Supplies, the second was held in March 2012 and the proceeds went to buying equipment for the Medium and Intensive Care units of Pediatric Oncology Department of National Cancer Institute. The last was in November 2012 and the proceeds went to the Children of Hope Village Society.”
This year the money is going to a more specific cause; the renovation of a book kiosk in the Imbaba neighbourhood. The kiosk belongs to Am Hassan. “This year we want to establish or rebuild a library in a place that doesn’t have any source of cultural enrichment,” Edrees said. “Mahmoud Hafez, who has volunteered since the first event did some research and he proposed Am Hassan’s case and of course he got the votes,” Edrees explained.
The annual book sale might adopt similar causes in the future: “We will try to renovate or establish a miniature cultural center wherever we can and we will train and help people run it,” Edrees said.
The Book Sale Fel Kheir will be held at Bikya Book Café in Nasr City on Saturday 18 May starting 11am.