Arts & Entertainment

World’s largest floating library attracts thousands of bookworms in Egypt

By Rosa Soto

Port Said, Egypt, Jan 19 (EFE).- Some 74,000 book lovers have flocked to Logos Hope ship, the world’s largest floating book fair that has docked in Egypt’s seaport city of Port Said with the motto of “sharing knowledge, help and hope.”

Every day, dozens of Egyptians line up at the port dock to visit the library, which has more than 5,000 books covering a wide array of fields, from culture and education to literature, cooking and business.

There is a “book for each family member,” project coordinator Sebastian Moncayo tells Efe.


According to Moncayo, Logos Hope’s mission began “more than 50 years ago,” when a group of friends decided to bring literature to Mexico from the United States by bus, inspiring Germany-based non-profit organization GBA Ships.

Since 1970, ships operated by GBA have docked in 1,500 ports in 150 countries.

After that first trip to Mexico, “they thought about how to bring literature to India and other distant places and ended up deciding to do it by boat,” says Moncayo.

“They then looked for people to sponsor the idea and bought the first boat,” he adds.

Aiming to reach all audiences, especially the poorest, Logos Hope sells books at affordable prices since it purchases them at a discount.

Port Said resident Fatima bought three for the price of one, a deal the mother of two children calls a “blessing” amid sky-rocketing prices due to the devaluation of the Egyptian pound.

Ahmed, meanwhile, traveled from neighboring Ismailiya city to see what Logos Hope has to offer. He ended up buying an English-Arabic dictionary, a novel and a notebook for only 300 Egyptian pounds ($10).


Behind Logos Hope is a team of 350 volunteers of more than 60 nationalities, who agree to be part of the project for a year or two.

Colombian Valentina Rios has been part of the communication team of the floating book fair for five years.

“The experience of living on the ship is incredible, there are no words to describe it, everything we do is done for the people we are going to visit in each port we dock at,” she explains.

However, Rios says the distance and time spent away from family and friends weigh heavily.

“I miss them, but we have a family on board, you live with them, you work with them, you go around the world with them, they are family, and you also meet a lot of people in each port,” she says.

Logos Hope had a very busy year in 2022, when it toured West Africa with a stopover in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, before sailing up to Europe.

The floating library will set sail to Jordan on Sunday and then to Djibouti, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. EFE

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