For the Book Lovers in Cairo

As-salamu `alaykum

So… you missed the famous book exhibition in Cairo this year (the ma3rad), or you have come to Cairo with a huge list of books and can’t seem to get them all at your local bookshop? Or maybe you’ve decided it’s time that your bookshelf had a new makeover :)

Welcome to Darb al-Atrak.

I was on the phone to a dear friend of mine a a couple of weeks back when I mentioned I needed some classic works so if she was interested in accompanying me, to let me know. She called me back some time later asking:

‘Have you been book-shopping yet?’

‘Nope, haven’t had a chance.’

‘Make sure you’re free on Monday. We’re going Darb al-Atraak.’

‘Darb eh?’

‘Darb al-Atraak, a street behind al-Azhar. I’ve never been there but was told they have a lot of books.’

‘Sounds interesting, let’s check it out. Meet you after Dhuhr insha’Allah.’

And so we set off… as we reached al-Azhar Mosque and Khan Khalili area (Sooq Husayn), we were told Darb al-Atrak street was just behind it. We got the directions, took a deep breath and went down the narrow and busy road.

Perhaps only other book lovers like myself and my friend will appreciate the scene we saw next. Putting aside the dingy narrow road lined with rubbish, cats and funny smells… we saw what can only be described as treasure – rows and rows of a lot of famous publishing houses, book distributors and maktabat! Absolutely superb.

Ok, you’re probably thinking ‘enough of the exageration and get to the point already’ :)

Coming to the crunch of this blog post… If you need to purchase a lot of books, you need not wait for things like the Book Exhibition which takes place in Feb every year (Cairo). Instead, the best thing to do is locate the publishers around your area and visit them with your list of books.

One such area is the one I visited above, Darb al-Atrak, which houses some well-known publishers such as Maktaba al-Safa, Dar Ibn al-Jawzi, Dar al-’Aqidah, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq to name but a few. The prices of the books they stock are very decent (cheap) because it’s straight from the warehouse itself. I think I purchased Hilyat al-Awliya (10 vol.) for about £9, Sharh of Ibn Taymiyyah’s Muqaddimah in Usul al-Tafsir for about £1.30, and Tafsir Tabari which I didn’t managed to get this time round was at £25 (12 or 14 vol.). They have various tahqiqat, taba’at (editions) and the latest publications and the other good thing is that they all have contact with each other so if the store that you’re in doesn’t have what you need, they dash over to another publishers and get it for you lol.

I think I found most of my books in Dar al-’Aqidah which has another branch in Alexandria, but was able to get some of my other books from Dar Ibn al-Jawzi as they stock some of the Saudi publications too.

Any other places?

Yes. But you need to find them!

Last year, I purchased most of my books from a place next to ‘Ataba (which is about 10mins from Azhar itself). I believe it’s called Sooq (or soor) al-Azbekiyyah. Take the metro going to Giza and get off at ‘Ataba. As you come out from the Akbekiyyah exit onto the square, go straight ahead where there are many small make-shift makatabat. Last time I checked, they had some rare collections masha’Allah and again, the prices are quite decent. However they may not have such a huge range of taba’at, and a couple of months ago a friend told me they were rebuilding the area so I’m not sure if that’s complete yet.

So there you have it folks, something to keep you busy next time you go to Azhar area.

In Darb al-Atrak, I was so intrigued that I spent hours just flicking through books, requesting titles, crossing through my lists and getting lost in between piles of books (I even knocked down a couple!). The intial idea was to go, get the books and make it home as soon as possible but have you ever tried to get 2 women do any shopping in short space of time? Ha, never happens. My friend, who I was relying on to pull me out of the stores actually turned out to be worse than me… each time one of us would ask:

My friend: ‘You ready to go?’

Me: ‘Yeah sure, 5 mins insha’Allah’

20mins later…

Me: ‘I’m done now alhamdulillah, are you?’

My friend: ‘Yep, just 5 more minutes.’

Half an hour later, we’re still there reading! And to make it worse, I didn’t manage to get through my booklist! Oh well, Qaddarallahu wa maa shaa’a fa3ala… I guess that means I have to go back again lol.

141 thoughts on “For the Book Lovers in Cairo

  1. lol!! MashaAllah. that’s so true, sisters + shopping = lots of time. :D

    SubhanAllah that’s SO cheap! I can’t believe you found those books for that price mashaAllah.

    Jazaki Allahu khayran for sharing that with us, inshaAllah I’d like to check it out one day ;)

  2. Trusty Daarus-salam is where I must have purchased most my books from. The book fair was amazing though. Daar al fikr had some pretty rare books also. All fun buying them but the fun stops when you have to ship them back…

  3. AA

    JazaakiAllahu Khairan sister. Great info since i am traveling to Egypt next month.

    Does anybody know what the cost of shipping these books is?

    I intend to buy many books but only have a limit of 25kg for my luggage, so i think i will only be able to bring back a handful of books.


  4. MashaAllah. that’s so true, sisters + shopping = lots of time. :D

    I never used to admit this sis (actually, we’re not supposed to admit this!), until I started checking the time after my ‘mini’ shopping sprees :)

    All fun buying them but the fun stops when you have to ship them back…

    Allahul-Musta’an, please don’t remind me. I’m dreading it already…

    Does anybody know what the cost of shipping these books is?

    I think Darusalam in Madinat Nasr does it for about £2 per Kg (or was it £5?). Sorry, I forget. Check this site out (below) for Shipping to the US from Cairo, I assume prices won’t be too different for the UK. My friend gave me the link when I was really worried about shipping (and I hadn’t even bought any books yet!).

    Shipping to the US from Cairo

  5. I got a deal of roughly one pound a Kg at darrus salam in Medina Nasr. But times change and I hear things are more expensive there. Sister how much is the pound, still roughly 14 junayhaat?

  6. 14LE! Ya Salam… was it ever that high? It went down to 8LE last week and has now just about gone up to 9LE. Usually on good months £1 is about 10LE but it’s been terrible in the last few months, the pound almost became as worthless as the dollar (yeah, I’m trying it with our American counterparts) :)

    I should double check what the shipping rates are at Darusalam as I’m not sure, but I’ve heard of other places where they do about 15LE (£1.50) per kg. Some places give you a large box and charge you for the space and not the weight so you can work your way around those and ship off the heavy set books.

  7. salaam

    i just came from egypt for a year about last month,

    darusalam charged me 26 LE for a kilo and i had 45 kilo so that was a lot of money…

    i quess that is where the fun stopshuh, but it was worth it alhamdulilah

  8. AA

    I am just trying to work this out. (got my calculator out :) )

    What do you think is the weight of, say for instance the 10 vols of Hilyat al-Awliya?

  9. What do you think is the weight of, say for instance the 10 vols of Hilyat al-Awliya?

    Ok, comparing it to a bag of sugar (which weighs 1kg), I’d say the whole Hilyat collection is about 4-5kg?

    Assalamu Alaikum Fajr.

    I used to love book shopping in Cairo!! And the book fair was just amazing Ma sha Allah. I used to buy books from Khan el-Khalili too.

    Wa `alaykumusalam wr wb Fatima!

    Masha’Allah, how so splendid to see you on here :)

    Despite my discovery of these publishing houses, I still can’t wait for the book fair. Last time I went, it really was amazing to see the variety of books and each year apparently they have authors come down to release their new publications (I think ‘Aaidh al-Qarni was here at one point).

    Wish I was there!

    Wish you were here too!

  10. Barakallahu feeki, I’ve responded.

    Perhaps it’s better to copy it here too for general benefit:

    Someone asked,

    if i can clear my doubt can i ask you this article speaking about the simplicity in the lifestyle of the scholars…or people gathering around them for seeking knowledge or advise?

    So how come the students of knowledge learn the deen from great scholars…..if they consider even 3 ppl sitting around them as a matter of pride?

    I pulled out these random quotes from the book, but the chapter actually goes on to explain about striking the balance between fear of fame and actually teaching to large crowds etc.

    The statement of ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi, the famous muhaddith pretty much sums it up for us:

    He says, ‘My son Ibrahim went out for Hajj and he met Muhammad ibn Yusuf (one of the great ‘ulama/zuhhad) in Makkah and he said to him, ‘Give the salaam to your father and tell him to lower himself.’ So Ibrahim returned and informed me of his statement. I became like an ill man for a number of months due to the statement of Muhammad so I said, ‘For a man like him to say something like this, something must have reached him about me, or he must have seen a dream!’ Until he (Muhammad) came to us one time and took me by the hand and we walked until I thought we would miss the Maghrib prayer.

    We sat down and I said, ‘O Abu ‘Abd Allah, my son Ibrahim informed me such and such from you.’ Muhammad said, ‘Yes, it reached me that you sit and narrate to the people.’ I said, ‘If you wish, I will swear to never narrate to the people.’

    He said, ‘Narrate to the people and teach them. But when the people start to gather around you, look to your heart and what condition it is in.’ [Tahdhib al-Hilyah 3/55)

    It is also reported that al-Hasan al-Basri passed by Tawus (rahimahumallah) whilst he was narrating hadeeth in the Haram to a large circle of people. He went closer to him and said in his ear, ‘If you have become amazed at yourself (‘ujb), get up and leave this circle.’ Tawus immediately got up and left…’

    So these incidents (and many others) tell us that the issue at hand has more to do with the state of heart and sincerity of the one involved in teaching people. I wanted to highlight the fact that yes, many of them were amazing and high ranking scholars who would teach thousands of people… but when it came to preserving their sincerity, they exerted all their efforts.

    It doesn’t mean that they all fled from the responsibility of teaching others – but rather when they felt that their sincerity was being affected, they left the scene and prefered not to be known.

    Wallahu a’laa wa a’lam.

  11. assalamu ‘alaykum,

    When I was in egypt I paid £60 to BA to increase my luggage allowance by 32kg so I could bring back an extra suitcase of books.

    Perhaps you could check with your airline and find out how much they charge?

    If you do find a good deal using the “box”, make sure you let us know inshallah.

  12. Fly KLM or Airfrance.

    They allow you 2 pieces at 23kg per person plus 12kg hand luggage. Which makes 58KG.

    Take a minimal amount of clothes and use the maqwa (ironing) places heavily.

    If you go overweight, it costs €50 per bag from 23to 32kg allowance , and €150 for every additional bag upto 23kg.

    I’d advise KLM as Amsterdam is a much nicer hub to change at than Charles De Gaulle in Paris which is a horrific experience (especially with 2 kids and a heavily pregnant wife in tow.)

    They are quite cheap too for flights, albeit only for one month fixed date tickets.

    Otherwise, like everyone has suggested, Qadri (or ‘Adri) at Dar al-Salam can sort things out for you but prices have increased dramatically and will be at the early 20 -25 LE mark when I asked in August – plus the LE is fixed to the US Dollar, and as Sterling has rapidly devalued, things are a lot more expensive than they used to be.

  13. Wa `alaykumusalam wa rahmatullah

    Brothers Muhammad and Fulaan, jazakumallahu khayran for the info – it’s much appreciated! I’ll definitely look into the ways of increasing luggage allowance insha’Allah.

  14. The prophet salallahu alayhe was sallam advised us to inform our brother / sister in islam if we love them… so I hereby declare my love for you my precious sister in Islam…

    Umm Mohsen Roshdy

  15. I saw a copy being sold in a London bookstore, but not sure how helpful that is.

    For those interested, the Cairo Book Fair (Ma’rad) this year will be taking place on 22nd Jan. It runs for about 2 weeks approx.

    Make the most of it!

  16. Anything you can get your hands on (and can carry back!).

    Go for the classics in the Islamic Sciences, and also look out for new publications.

    There are many genres of books so the best thing to do is browse a lot before buying your titles – check out the different tahqiqat, prices, quality etc.

  17. i went to the ma3rid twice so far and its so big that i was just overwhelmed. i;m trying really hard to find the dictionary for arabyyah bayna yadayk but i havent been able to. i went to the saudi section of the ma3rid but i didnt ant any books for learning th language or any dictionaries. pls try to keep an eye out for this book for me and let me know where i can find it in egypt.
    also i’m looking for educatonal cartoons WITHOUT music.

  18. Go to Ustadh Muhammad Yusri’s stall – other than his books, he’s also selling all the Bayna Yadayk series and other Markaz Fajr stuff, so perhaps they can help you out. You can find his publisher’s stall inside the al-Bayan (Magazine) tent which is round the corner from al-Safir publishers (the purple row of tents opposite the Saudi section – walk towards the masjid and then turn left). Dar al-’Affani is also located there, next to him.

    For the main Islamic books/publishers, go to Saraya 4 – walk past al-Safir (when it’s on your right) and the Saraya 4 (huge building complex) will be on your left-hand side, down some steps.

  19. jazakillahu khair sis but i still coulnd find it. i went to ustaz muhammad yusri 2day and he was selling bayna yadayk but he didnt have the dictionary or did he know where i could find it. he told me to ask fajr center for but i already did that and they didnt have it either.
    i’d give my right arm for this dictionary somebody help me!

  20. Assalamu Alaikum,

    Could any one tell me the date of the Cairo Book Fair in 2010.

    I have been told by some people it starts on the 22nd January and according to some the 29th January.

    I need to know as i am buying my ticket soon.

    Jazakallah Kahir

  21. salamauliakum,
    3azeezbillah masjid in zaytuna has good books as well.

    and to send for 7LE a kilo go to azhar and they wlil help; u out inshaALLAH!

  22. Assalamu Alaikum,

    I have found out that the Cairo Book Fair 2010 will take place from the 27th January till the 7th February. The 27th and 28th Janury are for special guests so therefore the public will not be admitted to the fair on these two days. It opens to the public on Friday 29th January from 10 am in the morning till 7pm.

    Its best to go on the first few days as i have experienced that some of the best material can at times be sold quickly although there are still thousands upon thousands of books still left. Some publishers will reduce prices on the last two days rather than ship thier stocks back.

    I have been going to the Cairo Book Fair every year for the last 12 years and i have been to some other book fairs and Cairo is still the best.

    Regarding cargoing books to England , USA , etc brothers and sisters should try Leila books. Thier office is in Central Cairo and this is their link:

    They are very reliable and very professional. You just give them your books (keep a list so you know what books you gave them) and they do all the rest. They get the permission certificate from al-Azhar which is needed before any books can leave Egypt as cargo and they supply and pack the books. I have at times just taken books to them in carriers bags and old boxes which i got from the grocery shop. Leila books packed the books in good strong boxes.

    They are not very cheap and you will need to email them for current prices. Nevertheless they speak English and they are very professional which can be rare in Egypt at times. I have sent books using different methods and agents and i even tried to get the books cleraed through customs myself. IT WAS A NIGHTMARE.

    I normally travel by Lufthansa, Air France or KLM and they allow in economy
    2 x 23 kg = 46 kgs. Hand luggage is 10 kg. If i have another additional 30 kgs i normally pay the excess charges which are £100. The reason for this is that to cargo 30 kgs would actually cost more than the £100 i would pay at the airport. However, if you are over 30 kgs considerably then i strongly recommend cargoing by air.

    You have to bear the following costs in mind:

    The cost per kilo by air (sea cargo is sent by volume)…this is approximately 10 egyptian junay but may vary. You may need to shop around. Leila charge more than this (but no harm in haggling).

    The agent who handles and takes the books from you and deals with all the paperwork will charge you…approximately 100-150 egyptian junay. (Again haggle).

    You may have to pay for the al-Azhar certificate but usually the agent includes it in his fee. It should be no more than 40-50 junay at most.

    Once the books arrive in England etc you have to get them cleared through customs at the airport they arrive at. You find a agent in Heathrow, Birmingham, New York, etc who will clear them for you. In the UK it costs £40 which the agent will charge you for their services.

    The only other cost is the cost of hiring or paying someone like a freind to defray thier petrol costs and you go to the cargo terminal of the airport to collect the books.

    If like me you do not travel from the capital London but from a regional airport on Lufthansa, Air France or KLM then get your books sent to your regional airport. It normally costs the same but always ask.

    Lonodn is a bit too far to travel too so i choose my regional airport. Another benefit is that regional airports are not as busy as airports in capital cities.

    Please also remember that customs clearance offices close early so arrive in the morning. You will not be charged any VAT or tax as the books are for ‘personal use’ and are therefore ‘personal effects’.

    As i mentioned it is a nightmare dealing with Egyptian bureacracy and red tape. Egyptians are used to dealing with this and they know the ins and outs so its best to leave it to an Egyptian like Leila books, M. Qadri at Dar al-Salam or some other Egyptian cargo agent to deal with this for you. There is no really cheap way but you will save yourself some money, time and grief if you do it this way.

    A better way would be for a group of people to come together and send a shipment together as one cargo shipment. I have done this in the past. The cargo is sent in one persons name although other people in the group know what books they sent and which box carton belongs to whom. This way you save on the agent fee (you only pay for one person) and airlines give a discount if you send in excess of a 100 kgs by air.

    You don’t have to send your books on the airline you travel on. You can ask for cargo rates for different airlines.

    If anyone is going to be there next year, let me know. Make dua for me.

  23. Assalamu Alaikum,

    It would be good to know who charges 7 junay per kilo to cargo books. Could you tell me where this place is? The only place in or near al-Azhar is Dar al-Salam.

    There are numerous small publishers in Darb al-Atrak but in experience i have never known them to offer services to cargo or ship books by air.

    I have had some interest in air cargoing books. If any one is interested the please email me. The books are being cargoed to England or either London, Birmingham or Manchester.

    I forgot to mention that British Airways only allows one bag in economy weighing up to 23 kg. A second bag regardless will cost you £100. They are not worth it. Luftahnsa, Air France and Klm will now charge £100 for a third bag in economy weighing up to 23 kgs (the first two are free, 2 x23kgs).

    I am buying Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (a new tahqeeq published in Egypt and is excellent) and that alone will weigh 20 kg probably.

    Brothers and sisters please take note: airlines will try every trick in the book to get extra money from you.

    Word of warning: the scales in most airports are not properly calibrated and you imagine the the lack of the state of art scales in Cairo airport. Dont risk it. You buy a digital travel scale on ebay for £8. It is light and nimble and you can carry it with you.

    On one trip the airline at Cairo airport said i was over my free allowance and tried to charge me. I produced my own scales and there was a discrepancy in the reading between my scales and the airport scales. The desk staff were having none of it but i insisted on seeing the manager who duly re-calibrated the scales and lo and behold i was within my allowance. In fact i was 1 kg under !

    As i mentioned don’t risk your hard earned money and pay the airlines these ridiculous charges. The money could be spent on more of your Arabic tuition or on books. It really isn’t difficult to air cargo.

    As i said before club together with other brothers and sisters and send it by cargo.

    This is going back a few years but when i was studying in Egypt i had bought and accumulated half a ton of books (500kgs). I had £300 pounds and that was what i was charged. Times have changed but it is still far cheaper to cargo.

    If you are not sure which agent to go to, phone up the airlines such as KLM, LUFTHANSA, British, Air France, etc and they will tell you who their recommended agents are.

    AND don’t travel on British Airways until they allow two bags on economy.

    i wish everyone on this site the best of success in thier studies and thier search for knowledge, ameen.

  24. Wa `alaykumusalam wa rahmatullah

    Wow, tons of help there, jazak’Allahu khayran brother.

    I’m flying with BA and their luggage allowance has always been the no.1 thing that frustrates everyone. I don’t have the choice of switching airlines unfortunately, so I really need to look at the options in cargoing (something that I keep putting off every day!). Actually, the info you gave couldn’t have come at a better time alhamdulillah.

    I wasn’t aware that you’ll need an agent once the books arrive in the UK though – is that the case even if one goes through a company like Leila Books/Darusalam etc?

    You don’t have to send your books on the airline you travel on. You can ask for cargo rates for different airlines.

    Any idea on current rates for some of the airlines you mentioned (e.g. Swiss/France)?

    I will contact you regarding cargo to the UK insha’Allah (is there something being sent to Heathrow airport?).

    Out of interest, where did you get Ibn Abi Shaybah’s Musannaf from and how many volumes did it come in?

    Again, thank you for the assistance!

  25. I hope you really are asking the brother out of interest where he got ibn abi shaybahs musannaf from because Fajr, YOU REALLY DO HAVE TOO MANY BOOKS! Did your collection expand after I left?

  26. Walaikum Salaam,

    Yes you definitely need a agent to clear customs for you when your books, etc, etc, arrive in the UK. It costs £40 approximately. Might cost a bit more. You find your own or ask the person in Cairo who deals with your export of books to tell you who they recommend. Sometimes you have to go to one particular agent but it depends.

    The hard part is getting your cargo out of Cairo. Once it arrives in the UK, USA, etc, it is not a problem. Customs clearance in the UK is basically filling in one form and declaring the books are for ‘personal use’.

    You need to ask the airlines offices in Cairo for the rates. I would recommend AIR FRANCE, KLM, LUFTHANSA, BRITISH AIRWAYS and try EGYPTAIR. The cost should aprroximately be 10 junay per kilo.

    If you go with Leila or Dar al-Salam they will till who their preffered airline is and the best cargo per kilo rate.

    I forgot to mention that the minimum charge is for 50 kgs so even if you only have 40 kg of books they will charge you for 50kgs. On top of that is the agent fee in Cairo and the clearance fee in the UK.

    So therefore for 50 kgs of books you are looking at £100 minimum.
    I strongly advise that brothers and sisters club together and or buy some more books in order to make cargoing economical sense.

    If you have the money (inshallah) and you are not returning to Cairo anytime soon, my advise would be to buy a bit more. I know its sounds crazy but you can never have enough books. And if you do not benefit from them, inshallah our children will. Books bequeathed to others should be seen as a Sadqa Jariyah.

    There are some brothers including myself who will come to the Cairo Book Fair in January inshallah. The books will be sent to Heathrow or Birmingham. I am still trying to sort it out.

    If there is enough interest on this forum i may find a good agent whom i could recommend to brothers and sisters.

    The Musnannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah is in 10 volumes and is published by Dar al -Farouq lilk-Nashr in Cairo (i think thats the name of the publisher). It will be available at the book fair as well.

    I forgot to mention that there is an air cargo agent with an ofiice at the Cairo Fair Ground.

    I have not used them so do not know what they are like.

    As i have said if brothers and sisters club together it will be cheaper for you and easier to haggle the price.

    If there are any questions or sugeestions pleasse let me know. I ask all brothers and sisters to please make dua for me as the dua of a traveller is maqbool.

  27. Assalamu Alaikum,

    I forgot to mention that one brother i know sent his books througha cargo agency near al-Azhar: Al-Quds, 8 Gohar street, Darrasa, telephone number 5932057.

    They sort out all the paperwork for you. You just give them your books. They can also come to your place to collect the books if they are in boxes.

    I have not used them so i could not say whether they are good or not. But it is always worth shopping around and haggling.

    It would be good to hear of other brothers and sisters experiences.

    One last point: if any of you are going to be at the Cairo Book Fair, the let borthers and sisters know. A group of us meet in person at the fair or chat via email, phone etc while we are in Cairo about the latest book, a good edition of a book or to avoid a certain edition or publishers.

    I am not sure if brothers and sisters know but there is a tendency now for people to avoid books published by Dar al-Kutub al Ilmyyah of Beirut as their editions are not noted for stringent checking or proof-reading. It is claimed that they are far too commercial in their approach.

    There are alternative editions and publishers around. If you are not sure just ask and or put up a query in forums such as this one.

    I shouldnt really encourage some of you in buying any more books but i will be looking for Imam al-Yunini’s edition of the Sahih of Bukhari. The print is the Bulaq edition printed by Mustafa Halabi wa Awladuhu (the publishers) who are situated in Darb al-Atrak.


    No, I don’t! What’s a few hundred? :) But hmm, maybe I should stop buying books and start buying bookshelves instead! As the brother said, you can never have enough books – I always say that books are for life and they are a true investment :p (yes, I’m trying to justify my actions lol).

    Asif, you’re help has been absolutely great masha’Allah; please keep updating us with info. It’s only the shipping that prevents many students from buying all the books they want, so I’m sure if they found a good method there will be great benefit.

    - How do you go about getting an agent for customs?
    - Also, is the minimum weight of 50kg for both Leila Books and Darusalam (or just Leila Bk)?

    Jazak’Allahu khayran, may Allah multiply your reward and benefit you like you’ve benefited us. Amin

  29. Walaikum Salaam,

    Just a quick note and reply.

    Leila and Dar al-Salam have not specified a minimum of 50kg but the 50kg minimum is a requirement by the airlines which agents have to charge for. It doesnt really make sense to cargo less that 50 kg as you can take 46 kg as part of your free baggage allowance on KLM, AIR FRANCE AND LUFTHANSA. Lets not mention British Airways who offer a miserly 20kgs (down from 23kg)….scrooges.

    However, as returning students, brothers and sisters obviously have clothes and souvenirs to take back as well and in such cases i advise cargoing the books anyway. The books are heavy and cumbersome. Let the cargo people take care of it.

    As i usually travel to Cairo to buy books I take very little clothes and luggage with me…I am a firm believer in minimalism when it comes to travelling. And the clothes i do take with me, i usually give most of them away to people who need them such as the Bawwab, etc. The space i save is usually taken up by books.

    Getting an agent for customs is easy in the UK. You can either get a family member or friend in the UK or USA, etc to contact the many cargo agents in the city where the airport your books will be cargoed to. The agent will then sort the paperwork out for you.

    PLEASE REMEMBER: only cargo your books if you are going to be at the airport you are cargoing the books to. Do not cargo the books and then collect many days or weeks later. The airport will charge you a daily storage fee which is about £40 per day. It can be steep if you are days or weeks late. The best way is this:

    For example, if you are leaving Cairo and returning to the UK on Thursday morning, take your books or have them collected on Monday. It will take a day or two for the paperwork to be carried out, weighed and you then pay the cargo agent in Cairo the money.

    You will then be asked when are you leaving Egypt and or they will ask you when do you want you cargo shipped.

    If you arrive in the UK on Thursday you cannot collect your books if they were also sent on Thursday. If you want to collect them on the day you arrive you must tell the cargo agent that you want the books to arrive on Wednesday so you can collect them on Thursday.

    Alternatively the books can arrive after you arrival …so for example you arrive in the UK on Thursday and your books arrive on Thursday….you have to go back to the airport the next day to collect them (Friday).

    Cargo can only be collected at the airport of arrival a day after its arrival.

    Don’t worry about being charged for storage…you are allowed two days free storage before get charged.

    An agent in the UK you can ask to collect and customs clear your book cargo is:

    Mrs. Betty Yazdi
    Telephone +44(0)20 8867 0930
    Fax +44(0)20 8844 1345
    Address Unit 7
    Marlin Park
    Central Way
    London, TW14 0XD
    United Kingdom

    There many, many other agents who can deal with the paperwork in the UK. Just look in the Yellow pages, internet, etc.

    I usually send my book cargo to BIrmingham. If your close to Heathrow, thats fine otherwise book cargo can be sent to Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, etc.

    The fee is approximately £50 but it may be higher now.

    If i find anything else i will let Brothers ans Sisters know.

  30. Assalamu Alaikum,

    Latest update:

    I have managed to contact an air cargo agency in Cairo and their rates are as follows:

    +45 kg 9.25 EGP (junay) per kilo
    +100kg 7.90EGP (junay) per kilo

    They charge 200 junay for customs clearance.

    I have asked them if they do the al-Azhar paperwork and if they pick up the books from a flat or house. Once they reply i will let you know.

    This agency’s rates are the cheapest so far. This is cheaper than Leilas or Dar al-Salam. They are:

    Speak to Safaa Arafa and tell them you spoke to me (Asif from England). And no I wont get any commision…the reason i say mention me is because they will then know what type of service you want. But double check always the service you have agreed upon and most importantly the destination airport code…London Heathrow is LHR…Birmingham is BHX and Manchester is MAN.

    A word of advice : Brothers and Sisters should keep a list of books they buy and keep two copies of this. One you should keep for your own inventory and the second you give to the air cargo agent who will present this list to the authorities who will give permission for the books to be exported out of Egypt.

    Someone emailed and asked why al-Azhar insists on this. The reason is there are some weird sects and deviant/heretical individuals and cults who try to propagate views contrary to Islam. These types of people try to pass off thier corrupts opinions and works as authentic Islamic material. Al-Azhar checks the books to see whether any of them are rwitten and disseminated by these people. And, yes they do check everybook in your box as i have seen them do it. Thats why it is important to have a copy of a list of your books so you can check if any are missing, etc. In my experience, alhamduliiah, none went missing.


    I received an email from some students who returned from Cairo this summer and who had bought books from this years book fair. They clubbed together and sent thier books and some personal effects in one persons name. Not only did they get a large discount per kilo but they also saved on agents (one in Cairo and One in the Uk) fees. They numbered theor cartons and each person knew which box or carton was which.

    I will add more information as i receive.


  31. Wa `alaykumusalam wa rahmatullah

    Excellent, jazakallahu khayran!

    Just slightly confused on why the Qur’an/masahif would delay customs clearance? Also, have you ever experienced problems with some of your books (e.g. have certain titles -even if it’s an old classical work- posed any problems/delays)?

    What would you recommend when shipping out books on small-scale (e.g. a 2-volume work), or sending books to different destinations?

    Please update us with what Tifanny Cargo say – masha’Allah they seem professional & their prices are very decent. Just hope there aren’t any hidden costs :/

  32. Walalikum Salaam,

    The reason why Quran/Mushaf may lead to a delay is because al-Azahar and the Government are very strict as to the printing and publishing of the Quran in Arabic and its translation.

    Apart from ensuring that there are no typograghical errors, translations have to approved by al-Azhar. If you look in some translated books from Arabic into English which are published into English, you will see in the first few pages of the book a letter from al-Azhar with an official seal.

    These measures are to ensure that typo errors do not creep into published editions and that deviant/heretical sects like the Qadiyanis and the Bahais do not pass off their ideas as Islamic. Some evangelical missionary groups tried to print a version of the bible but with titiles and quranic typo conventions. I think it was called kitab al-furqan or something similar. Alhamdulillah it was found and the whole print run was pulped by the authorities.

    I am not saying do not cargo Quran/Mushaf/translations but you have to make sure you have the paperwork in particular for these items. It can a delay ..sometimes a few hours and at times a few days. Its nothing to worry about…Just let the cargo agent know thje carton they are in. Sometimes the customs in Cairo only check the paperwork for the Quran/Mushaf/Transaltions while at times they check every book.

    I have only expereinced some delays with books related to Jihad or maybe books about Sayyid Qutb, the Ikhwan….sensitive topics. However, these are passed by al-Azhar and the books go through.

    Do not cargo books that are critical of Egypt, its governemnt, ruler, etc. By all means buy them if you want but put them in your hand luggage or suitcase. I have bought countless classical works and alhamdulillah there have ben no problems. Its far better to air cargo your books in bulk. It makes more sense economically and logistically.

    If you need to send some books to a friend in another country then you need to go the Post Office in Ramses near the Railway station. It is a nightmare and i would only suggest it if you have ample amounts of Sabr. The books will be checked by one kiosk, then you go to another kiosk and get a form. You then go to another kiosk and buy the stamps. You then go to another kiosk to get the books weighed who sign the form. Another kiosk to pay the full postage and finally to another kiosk where the books are wrapped and sent off.

    I would avoid this method as it can be taxing and the Post Office staff are not vert bothered at times, there are lines of Egyptians who lack adab and you are more likely to find blood in a stone than a queue or anything resembling a queue. In addition, the postage rates are not cheap for parcels.

    When you do not have enough books to warrant a air cargo shipment, the only option is to ask Leila Books to send them to your desired location. The books will arrive while there have been cases books sent from Ramses Post Office have not reached their destination.

    I received an email which commented that buying books was cheap in Egypt but expensive in sending them back home. The thing is that this is the same regradless of whether you want to send from Saudia Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, etc to another country.

    But, even when you factor in the cost of sending the books back home, the books are still cheap as chips. I bought Musnannaf Abd al-Razzaq for about £20 in Cairo and cargoed it back with other books. i estimated that the cargo cost for this title would average out at £20. So £40 in total. The same title and edition was on for sale for £95 in London! And it was not available in Birmingham.

    I think that the satisfaction you get searching/hunting for books in Cairo beats any comparison when ordering online from vendors such as Neel wal Furat. And the postage costs for books is exorbitant.

    I advise Brothers and Sisters to take advantage of the Cairo Book Fair (29th Jan to 7th Feb 2010) and the marvellous bookshops in al-Azhar, Darb al Atrak, etc). And dontget me started on the Riyadh, Jeddah, Sharjah Book Fairs.

    Another idea i have had is that Brothers and Sisters should ask the Idaraat at their respectives Arabic Learning Centres to speak to the Air Cargo agent to organise a mass shipping. It makes the experience easier and Brothers and Sisters can face the task with less trepidation.

    Apologies for going on…the rantings of a book lover.

  33. Afwan, Its me again.

    I got some emails from some Brothers and Sisters whho told me what they were quoted..£2 english pounds per kilo. Thats far too much. That works out to be 20 junay almost per kilo.

    Please shop around and if you are not sure…please ask somebody on this site.

    Don’t let the locals see that you desperate in cargoing your books back. Shop around and haggle. Network and club together if needs be.

    It neednt be costly or frightening. It fact it can become fun……well…sort of….

  34. Assalamu Alaikum,

    I have been looking throught this blog/website and i mashallah it full of gems for students of knowledge. I wish there had been something like when i was studying in Egypt.

    I was wondering what Brothers and Sisters thought of an idea subject to the decision of the moderator of this site:

    It would be very beneficial if Brothers and Sisters could share with everyone bookshops they know of in Cairo, Alexandria, etc so that we could all bebefit from visiting them. I am not sure if any one knows but there is a very old publishing house, Maktab Khanji, in Cairo. It publishes some works by the Hanafi Alim, Ibn Humam. If my memory serves me correct, i think they also publish the works of Ahmad and Mahmud Shakir who did the takhreej and tahqeeq of the Musnad of Imam Ahmad.

    It would be beneficail also if we could share information of new publications or some rare book that has been found.

    Just an idea…..

  35. This is the full address and other details of a company that also cargoes books by air. I am not told they sort all the paperwork out and even collect from your place but you will have to contact them to confirm.

    Like most companies in Egypt they are desperate for your buisness so haggle and drive a hard bargain. You are paying them to do the arduos task of sending the books.

    Company Address
    Al Quds Co. for Publishing & Distribution
    8 Jawhar Street, Al Darasa
    Postcode: 11271
    P.O. Box: 40 Ramsis

    Phone: +202 5932057
    Fax: +202 5902879

    Contact Person

    Mr. Essam Yassin El Naggar
    Phone: +202 5932057
    Fax: +202 5902879

  36. Assalamu Alaikum,

    Tiffant cargo have told me the paperwork is not needed anymore from al-Azhar but i am getting this confirmed myself. I still think you do need the paperwork. As soon as i finf out i will let everyone know.

    The contact at Tiffany cargo is called Safaa.

  37. Assalamu Alaikum,

    I spoke to al-Quds (which i mentioned before with the address) and they have said they will organise everything from collection to paperwork to customs. They speak English (alhamdulilah) and the person to speak to is Osama.

    The phone number if calling from the Uk is 00 202 25932057

    Further info on other agencies will follow…

  38. Allah yajzika khayran

    I knew sending books through the Post Office was meant to be bad, but not that bad. Perhaps it’s better to just go with the shipping companies in that case.

    Another idea i have had is that Brothers and Sisters should ask the Idaraat at their respectives Arabic Learning Centres to speak to the Air Cargo agent to organise a mass shipping.

    This actually sounds like a good idea… has anyone tried this in the past? I assume if any, it would be the international Azhari students who end up with many books over the years.

    It would be very beneficial if Brothers and Sisters could share with everyone bookshops they know of in Cairo, Alexandria, etc so that we could all bebefit from visiting them.

    I second that. By all means, everyone is welcome to use this page for discussions and advice on books, publishers, shipping, you name it. Barakallahu feek.

  39. Assalamu Alaikum,

    I was in Cairo a few months and i was told that Line Three of the Metro was being built. I know i should’nt ask this question and no, i dont want to hear the Egyptian definition of IBM…Inshallah…Bukra…Maleesh…

    Rather, could some one tell me if the Metro Line Three is operating yet. I ask because it would making travelling from Central Cairo the Cairo Fair Ground, where the Book Fair takes place, a lot easier.

    Another question, does anyone know of a cheap but decent hostel/hotel in Madinat Nasr. At the moment all the chaep options are in Talaat Harb and two hotels/hostelsin al-Azhar district of al-Gamaliya.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  40. Assalamu Alaikum,

    This is just a small update regarding Leila Books. They have just given me the following information regarding sending books from Cairo:

    The following is our charges for sending books to England.
    Our cost includes the cost of all formalities (censorship + authorization of
    al-Azhar + wrapping + shipping).

    1) Air Cargo:-
    Per Kgm. U$ 3.00 (minimum 45 Kgms.)
    – Average one week to reach England -

    2) Registered surface mail:-
    Per Kgm. U$ 7.00 (minimum 25 Kgms.)
    – Average one month to reach England -

    3) Registered Air mail:-
    Per Kgm. U$ 10.00 (minimum 25 Kgms.)
    – Average two weeks to reach England -

    4) By Courier:-
    Per Kgm. U$ 7.00 (minimum 25 Kgms.)
    – Average 5 days to reach England -

    Hope this helps, inshallah.


  41. British Airways have changed their excess luggage charges as long as you book BEFORE hand online and pay online.

    They allow an extra suitcase (of 23kg) for £32, and you can have upto 10 additional suitcases per person.

    So you can effectively, providing you prepay, bring along another 230kg of books for £320 – which is not bad considering the rates above.

  42. Assalamu Alaikum,

    Fulaan ibn Fulaan is right but those rates are only until November 2009. After that they increase. Here is the info from the British Airways site:

    Charges per additional bag up to 23kg (51lbs) International

    Number of bags At the airport Online
    1st additional bag £40 per bag £32 per bag

    Further additional bags £90 per bag £32 per bag

    (from 10 Nov 2009) £90 per bag £72 per bag

  43. Assalamu Alaikum,
    I have just come across this product. Its the magic white board. Here is the web site

    I was i had this in Cairo when i studying Arabic. Its £30 for 25 sheets but the sheets can be reused 20 times so its a lot of product there. I use it to teach sometimes.

    I friend of mine recently bought a ton of books, yes a ton! And he used Leila books to ship them over. He reassured me that they were courteous and prompt.

    The manager, George Fawzy, speaks English. I am coming to Cairo in January for a week to attend the Book Fair. I am not coming with a lot of luggage so if anybody needs something from here then let me know and i will try to bring it for you.

    By the way, has anyone seen any new books or good editions?




  44. I called Leila Books and they quoted me the following prices:

    40 Kg = $260 ($6.5 per Kg)
    30 Kg = $213 ($7 per Kg)

    They said it takes 1 month for delivery!

    Anyone know anything cheaper and with faster service?

    I spoke to Tiffany Books but they said they’ll need to check a few things (?) and then get back to me, so will post up their service/prices insha’Allah.

  45. How many kg of books do you need to ship back, as price varies a lot based on that.

    As the fixed charge (regardless of weight) can dwarf the per kg charge depending on method.

    It is also worth looking at the excess baggage policy of your airline as the cost may not be prohibitive depending on the amount of KG you have and if you prebook.

  46. I would estimate that I have about 30 Kg. I told Leila Books that I have 40kg so they quoted me the above, then I asked for the price of 30kg.

    Regarding the airline luggage allowance, I already have my e-ticket – is that what you mean by pre-booking? Or was I supposed to have specified my want of excess luggage before having booked?

  47. Depending on your airline, they can be quite reasonable for moderate amounts of excess baggage – and often give discounts for buying online before you arrive at the airport – i.e. 20% or so.

    So it is worth getting a quote from the airline, either via their website if they have it online – or from their agent.

    You can normally do this after you have bought the ticket but before you have arrived at the airport.

  48. Assalamu Alaikum,

    Have you tried:
    Al Quds Co. for Publishing & Distribution
    8 Jawhar Street, Al Darasa
    Postcode: 11271
    P.O. Box: 40 Ramsis

    Phone: +202 5932057
    Fax: +202 5902879

    Contact Person

    Mr. Essam Yassin El Naggar
    Phone: +202 5932057
    Fax: +202 5902879

    I will ask Leila to confirm the prices they gave me which were much less than the prices they quoted you.

    As soon i get a reply i will post the information here.



  49. Assalamu Alaikum,

    The Cairo Book Fair will be 28/1/2010 – 8/2/2010. Its open to the the public on the 30th January 2010.



  50. Assalamu Alaikum,

    I received reply from Leila books. As mnay airlines have increased thier charges, so have cargo handlers. The new rates are as follows:

    Item Kgms Price Per Kgm in U$.
    1- 45-99 U$ 5.00
    2- 100-149 U$ 4.00
    3- 150+ U$ 3.50

    1- Rates are now calculated according to the weight of the shipment.

    2- Rates includes all official formalities (censorships) and administrative
    cost (wrapping, boxing; etc.).

    Obviously it makes more sense to send a lot more books to get a cheaper rate. As i have mentioned before, if you combine your books excess baggae with other people you will get a far cheaper rate.

    I will find out wgat the other cargo handlers say.



  51. Assalamu Alaikum,

    Is there anybody who would be interested in combining their books in one shipment? It will mean a cheaper rate. I am in Cairo for the book fair so if anybody wants to do that let me know or this forum could be used by people to make contact with each other.

    I think its better to combine shipments as you have to pay a fee in the Uk when you go to collect the shipment. I think it is betwee £50-75 pounds. Thats a lot of money which could be shared by people if they chose this method.

    If you choose Leila you have to drop off your books to them. They are situated close to Talaat Harb street in central Cairo. Some other agents can collect from your flat but i think it has to be a certain weight. I dont think they would come to collect 20 kgs for example.

    The book fair is only two months away so i would advise people to wait until the fair in case they get carried away with thier purchasing.


  52. Assalamu Alaikum,

    A couple of us are travelling from England to attend the Cairo Book Fair. It would good to meet some students while we are in Cairo. Also, are there are new books or prints that anubody wants to recommend?


  53. Wa `alaykumusalam wa rahmatullah

    That would be a very good idea, maybe you can drop a message with the main Arabic centers and see if you can gather students?

  54. Assalamu Alaikum,

    I have found another agent who will cargo books. The costs include everything including al-Azhar paperwork and they collect from your flat. They are based in Madinat Nasr. If you have 100 kgs the charge is £2 per kg and if you have more the charges go down.

    +100 Kg USDollars 3.20/kg ( all inclusive )
    +250 Kg USDollars 3.00/ Kg ( all inclusive )
    +500 Kg USDollars 2.70/kg ( all inclusive)
    +1000 Kg USDollars 2.50/kg ( all inclusive)

    Transit Time 3 days

    Ahmed Tawfik
    Egy-freight Int
    34 Hesam Labib St. Nasr City
    Cairo -Egypt
    Tel/Fax : 00202 22734635
    Mob :002 0127901491

  55. As-salaamu `alaykum

    I shipped books to the UK at a rate of 15EGP (£1.70 now) per KG. In total I paid for 130KG which was around £200~£220. I shipped via “Dar Alsalam”, the publishers whose shipping dept. is based in Nasr City, near I think Masjid Bilal. The actual shipping office is opposite another known masjid whose name has escaped me.

    When I got back to the UK, for customs clearing and handling etc, I paid another £85. Apparently, all of Egypt Air’s Cargo went to a company called Everex, then Mycon and then DFS Worldwide (not the sofa company). The process was fairly swift but full of middle men, so I was confuse the whole time…

    Misr Post, don’t even go there. I went to their main office in I think Ramses, but the prices and speed of shipping was joke. The Al-Azhar approval/certificate process was simple in my opinion. I would hand the paper work in, pray, return and it’s done. Maa shaa’ Allaah, there was a nice brother I remember working in that department.

    As for bookshops, then I thought of an idea… to make a “map” and try to plot the good shops out!!? Sounds crazy and challenging considering the windy corridor like markets. But I know I missed some key bookshops.

    Anyway, my favourite shops were Dar Alsalam (when it had 50% discount), Daar Ibn Hazm somewhere to the right of Masjid Al-Azhar. The shop was within a building, so spotting it isn’t easy, and I remember always seeing animal guts on the path that lead to the place. I also frequented a bookshop/publisher called Al-Maktabah Al-Islamiyyah which again, was near Al-Azhar… There was also Maktabah Ahl us-Sunnah in Swisery Baa’, but before I left it was being sold off, so I don’t know what’s happened. It was in the Swisery Baa’ market towards the end of the road, where it meets Saqr Quraysh Road.

    Hope it helps,


  56. @ Abu uthman,
    as salaamu alaikum, How many levels did u complete @ Fajr? And could u pls share your experience.
    @ sis fajr, as a matter of fact I think it may b a good idea if u started asection consisting of ppl’s experiences at these institutes. Wallahu a3lam.
    barakallahu feekum

    • Wa`alaykum us-salaam warahmatullaah

      I only covered five levels, skipping the first three, so I just passed the halfway mark of their fusha program. I stayed for four months roughly, but only studied for around three of those, due to breaks, Ramadaan etc. If you plan on going near Ramadaan, then maa shaa’ Allaah, Ramadaan is great in a Muslim country, but you should bare in mind that you might not be able to study during it. It was harder than I thought…

      Me and a brother were eager to finish of the book we started and nearly completed, so we completed a level just before the last 10 days. It was hard traveling in the heat and concentrating without food/water for 5 hours a day, 6 days a week. But knowing that I had little time in Egypt, it was worth it and paid off, walhamdulillaah.

  57. salamauliakum
    if anyone knows someone who needs a roomate in cairo…or has an apartent for rent email me plz
    mohammadabdulrahman @

    jazakum Allahu khairun

  58. Assalamu Alaikum,

    We are organising a shipment of books from Cairo to England. If any is interested in fidning out the cost and sharing the cost with us then please contact us asap. We will ship the books by sea and not by air cargo. It is much cheaper this way. We are only in Cairo for the duration of the fair.



  59. Salaam

    Is their someone who knows a good shipment to ship books too holland, because leila books said that i must pay 1580 euro voor 200 kg thats not normal, so any suggestions

  60. Assalamu Alaikum,

    We have sent our shipment which amounted to half a ton of books by Sea. It cost $440 inclusive. We have to pay for clearance when the shipment arrives in England.

    It takes two weks to arrive from Egypt but it is much much cheaper than by air.

    The agent is a very nice and humble guy mashallah.

    Dar al-Salam (Ustad Qadri) could not offer a comparable price and they recommended we ship with our best offer which we did.

    For Holland, ask the same guy we used:

    Ahmed Tawfik
    Egy-freight Int
    34 Hesam Labib St. Nasr City
    Cairo -Egypt
    Tel/Fax : 00202 22734635
    Mob :002 0127901491

    The Cairo Book Fair was excellent but be warned Syrian and Lebanese publishers bring limited quantities and thier stocks go quickly. We were lucky as we managed to buy the last remaining copies of many new prints.

    When you ship by sea you are shipping by volume not weight while by air you cargo by weight.

    We sent eight very large boxes of books and each box contained 60-70 kgs in each box.

    We contacted more than 250 agents for quotes and Ahmed Tewfiq had the best service and price. He even comes to your flat to pick the books up.


  61. Wa`alaykum us-salaam

    Maa shaa’ Allaah, price sounds very good. I consulted Ustadh Qadri as well, but obviously the book fair is something else. Jazaak Allaahu khayran for the info, will add the contact details to my address book. It’s a shame, I wanted to stay for the fair, but qadr Allaah. Another year inshaa’ Allaah.

    Do you know anyone who’s good for shipping to the states? I know a brother who’s stuff is still in Misr, and we didn’t find him any good enough quotes on time.


  62. Assalamu Alaikum,

    Asif, can you maybe guide me where the egypt freigt int is, because i ask some of people an some of taxidrivers but they didnt know( maybe my arabic is not so good).
    i live between manhal and tawheednour, could you mabye direct me witch way i must take or a famous place,shop. and speak they also english? and how works it to send them and what do you must take with you.
    thank you for your time.

    jazakum Allahu khairun

  63. Assalamu Alaikum,

    I think it is better if you phone Ahmed tewfik on his mobile 0127901491. He will come to your address to pick up the books etc. There is no need to go to his office.

    You can also email him :

    Ler me know what happens.


  64. Assalamu Alaikum,

    This maybe outside the remit of this blog but couls someone recommned a cheap and clean hotel in Damascus, Syria. Some prices i have been quoted are riiculous.

    And more importantly, where are the bookshops located? Jazakallah Khair.


  65. Wa `alaykumusalam wa rahmatullah

    Sorry akhi, I wouldn’t be able to help you on that… maybe you can contact the Syrian branch of al-Azhar or Damascus University (they usually direct students to the main bookstores etc)? It could work.

  66. Salaam a3leykoem

    I have a question for Asif, I have send the books trough ahmed, for the same price the you have payed, but now i must payed 400 euro morefor the costs, so i a little bit confused, so my question to you have you also payed about 400 euro when you pick up the books?
    Jazakallah khair.

  67. Assalamu Alaikum,

    To which port did you your books get shipped to? You need to pay customs clearance fees and agent handling. My shipment was half a ton or one cubic metre. I paid £165 in total.

    What was the 400 euros for?



  68. Assalamu alaikum

    No it is a mistake my brother thought that is was 400 euro but it is 400 cbm
    ih have to pay 222 dollars for clearance and all

    Thank for reaction


  69. Assalamu alaykum,

    regarding the book fair, I was wondering is there really a big difference in prices as compared to buying normally throughout the year? (especially if your a good bargainer :-)

    Ma’as salaamah

  70. Asssalamu Alaikum,

    At the Cairo Book Fair you tend to get a lot more booksellers offering discounts who would otherwise not give a discount in the rest of the year.

    Some booksellers will give dscounts throughout the year. In my expereince Dar al-Salam near al-Azhar are excellent in giving discounts.

    The other point to bear in mind is that at the Cairo Book fair you get the most publsihers and sellers as well as the widest selction of Arabic books in the world. It is not to be missed. I have found books at the Cairo Book fair which i would otherwise not have found elsewhere.

    If you are in cairo next January i could meet you there and show where to go at the fair.

    It is also a good time to send books by air or sea cargo as cargo agents will offer good rates at the time of the fair.

    Hope this helps.



    • asslamau alaikum-
      i will also be in cauiro from october- can wa also met up at the fair- that would be very helpful

  71. Wa akaykum assalam,

    Jazakallah br Asif, that’s very helpful of you. Our meetings confirmed then!(Allah willing)
    Bro, do you mind contacting at I have lots of questions to ask you as you’re already there. I would very much appreciate it.

    Jazakallah ahsan aljaza,
    akhooka Jubayr

  72. Salamun ‘Alaykum,

    Where exactly is Dar Ibn al-Jawzi located? Went down those stairs but turned out to be Dar Khalid ibn Walid.

    Also, is it the actually Dar Ibn al-Jawzi publishers? ‘cos we asked one guy and he said it’s jus the name of the shop…

  73. Assalamu Alaikum,

    I am going to Cairo inshallah in January for the book fair.

    It might be beneficial if we could share and send one book shipment together to make it cheaper inshallah.

    The charges for the sea cargo including all costs (excluding actual price of books:

    if four people share one lot (14 boxes…about 4 boxes each) then its £440 divided by 4 (4 people) = £110 person

    if four people share two lots ( 8 boxes each ) then its £440 divided by 4 (4 people) = £120 person

    A box means a very large box 30cms height, 20cms width and 10cms breadth (about 40 kgs of books per box approx).

    The shipment takes two to three weeks from Egypt to Felixstowe.

    Please let me know in advance as i need to arrange the shipment.

  74. It shouldnt be a problem, inshallah. Where are you two from in England? How many books do you want to send?
    Are you in Cairo already? If so where do you live?

      • Assalamu Alaikum,

        I will be in Cairo for a week. We should meet at the fair as i will be organising the shipment while I am there. The books are handed to the agent normally at the end of the day at the fair or he can collect them from your place. Its easier to get the books collected from the fair everyday as it says you the hassle of taking boxes and boxes back to you flat. Its a nightmare getting back from the fair as the traffic is just crazy. Is it just yourself or another brother as well? I look forward to meeting you inshallah. We will be staying near the Cairo Convention Centre inshallah.

  75. Salam, is the convention centre smaller the fair grounds?

    I have been told there will be less publishers at the Cairo book fair 2011?

  76. @Asif; I asked the brother today, and he seemed up for it. I think there was another brother interested too. Anyhoo, what’s your contact details bro – we can discuss it further. Akhukum,

    • Assalamu Alaikum,

      The date for the Cairo Book has been delayed by a day or two. It will now open on Saturday 29th at midday.

      Jubayr and Hanbali, we can meet when i arrive to discuss your shipping of the books. What are your mobile numbers in Egypt. I will call you when i get there. Dont forget, the book fair is at the convention centre this year and not the fair grounds.

      Mabe somebody could put a map and photo of the convention centre on here.



  77. Brothers, if you wish, I can exchange your emails so that you don’t have to publish them here if that concerns you. Just let me know who wishes to exchange contact.

  78. Inshallah the book fair will open this Saturday at 2pm after Zuhr. The first day will be quite short as the fair closes at 7pm. I think it would be beneficial if we book lovers could all meet up and share expereinces and what books we have discovered. It is impossible to see all the books at the fair.

    I would also advise you to bring you food and water as the fair can overwhelm you.

    Inshallah we will meet at the fair.

  79. Just interested to know… did the Book Fair take place? Friday was Egypt’s Day of Anger (Anti-Gov’t protests) and ever since then the country has been swept by those great & unfolding events… would be interested to know what became of the fair.

  80. the book fair is cancelled to a later date,
    or maybe even next year, unless these protests finish,
    we dont want talk, we want war

  81. War? I hope you mean war against illiteracy and ignorance.

    The book fair has been cancelled until next year. There seems to be no end in sight to the cuurent crisis. Many international publishers have left Egypt. The few that remian andthe egyptian publishers may do a mini fair at some point later in the year possibly but the actual fair is off.

    I know we book lovers are disappointed but Allah has given us an opportunity to save up for next year.

  82. Salaam brothers,

    Are there any new updates about resources to ship books to the US? I was reading the older posts, but the most beneficial ones are from a year ago.

  83. Wasalam,

    Look for Ahmeds number on this post. Contact him and he will sort all the procedures to ship your books to the USA. He can collect them from your flat. he speaks English and he is a very nice and honest person, mashallah.

    Let me know how you get on.


  84. Assalamu Alaikum,

    Could somebody confirm that a book fair will be held in Cairo in Ramadan.

    Could somebody also find out the date for the Cairo Book Fair 2012.

    The number to call is 00202 25775228

    Jazakallah Khair

  85. Assalamu Alaikum,

    Yes the book fair is taking place this Ramadan. It’s running between the 5th and 25th of August iA. I visited t a few days ago and found it to be very small, and it hardly had any of the books I was after.

    Jazakum Allahu Khairan

  86. Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Fantastic. I’m also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

  87. as salaamu alaikum,

    i wanted to know more info on customs and handling fees in UK (from cairo to UK), does this apply to air cargo, do you have to get a agent or can you collect and do the clearance yourself?
    Also does it depend on the cargo company you choose, i.e. is it all inclusive (btw I intend to go with Ahmad Tawfiq company based in makram obeid)

    Jazak Allahu khair

    • Assalamu Alaikum,

      I would not do air cargo as it is expensive and more complicated. Its better if you sea cargo. Do not attempt to clear customs your self. It is a nightmare. Its well worth paying an agent to do it for you. Do not do it yourself. It will cost you more in time and waiting and chasing forms. The agent knows the system inside out so let the agent do it…..its his/her job so leave it to them.

      Ahmad Tawfiq is mashallah amazing and sorts everything out. The sea cargo normally goes to Felixstowe. The agent will ask you if you want to clear yourself or do you want to appoint an agent. Ask the agent who calls you to do it. He is reliable. HE also also ask you if you want the cargo delivered or will you collect yourself.

      From what i remember, the clearance and fees cost £125. Delivery is extra depending on distance. I went with a person who had a van but i would warn you its a long. long road to Felixstowe.

      One cubic metre is about 15 marlboro boxes of books which is a lot. I think its £225 for one cubic metre and £75 for each additional metre. I would advise you to combine your books with someone else or group of people to make it cheaper.

      Put you name in the books so there is no confusion as to who owns what and keep a list of the books you sent.

      Sea cargo is the best option as the price is for space not weight while air cargo is for weight not space.

      Sea cargo takes 2 weeks approximately while air cargo takes 2 days.



      I hope this helps.



    • If you know someone studying in azhar uni. not the secondary school, then ask them if they can get you books checked and send it by the post office in ramses. By ship it cost but less than 11 gunnay a kilo, and they send it directly to your address.
      By plane is it 15 gunnay a kilo.

      A bro told me about shipping directly from the airport, He said it cost 3 gunnay a kilo. I’m not sue if that is true.

  88. One cubic metre is about 15 marlboro boxes of books which is a lot. I think its £225 for one cubic metre and £75 for each additional metre. I would advise you to combine your books with someone else or group of people to make it cheaper.

    This refers to the price Ahmad charges in Cairo….not the agent in UK fees.

  89. Asalamu alaykum. Considering all these charges, the quotes on seem quite reasonable especially with the to door service. Inshallaah will be going to Egypt in late June and am trying to work out the best way to bring books back. BMI only offer a woeful 20kg of allowance. If anyone knows any painless and cheaper way of doing this, please do inform. Jazakallaah khayr.

  90. Assalamualaykum, anyone know any cheap bookshops in the UK for arabic books, the ones I have come across are grossly over priced for whatever reason.

    • salam mohammad,
      i just bought books from al neel wal furat in lebanon. they ship to the uk. the high cost of shipping is the only problem you’ll need to overcome.


  91. I’m probably way out of date with this stuff but I’m currently in Cairo for a few months, then moving on to Yemen. Does anyone know if the prices will vary much from sending them to UK?

    Thanks for any advice and I’ll will ring this chap Asif mentioned.

  92. Its that time of year again …well sort of…..the Cairo Book Fair…23rd January to the 5th February. Books, books, books,………

  93. Does anyone know where I can buy the actual print of “al-Kitab al-asasi Vol 3″ 1987 Tunnis Print. I’m currently in Egypt.

  94. For anyone interested who may be travelling on to Yemen, I found a brother of Saudi origin who has a very small bookshop near al Azhar in Darrasa who charges 20 USD per Marlboro box. His name is Abdul Wahhab.

  95. Asalamu alaykum,

    Is there anybody in cairo for the bookfair? because i want to know what the price is for the book of imam ahmed en imam adhabbi مسند احمد سير أعلام النبلاء مؤسسة الرسالة
    could someone give me the price?

    • @aliinbharoen

      Wsalaam, I was at the fair today Alhamdu’lillāh. I also managed to enquire regarding your requests,

      مسند الإمام أحمد (٥٢ مجلّد) – ٢٠٠٠ جنية
      سير أعلام النبلاء (٢٨ مجلّد) – ١٠٠٠ جنية

      كلاهما من طبعة مؤسسة الرسالة 

  96. Assalamu Alaikum,

    Is brother Asif still active anywhere? Ma ShaAllah, his posts were very beneficial. I intend to travel to the book fair this coming year so it would be nice to cargo back with a group inshaAllah

  97. Howdy would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working
    with? I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m
    looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for getting
    off-topic but I had to ask!

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