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Upper Egypt publisher fights for survival

Hypatia Publishing House, which takes its name from an executed Platonic thinker, aims to put Upper Egypt on the literary map.

Upper Egypt has been home to many intellectuals, writers and poets, such as Rifaah Rafi al-Tahtawi, leader of the scientific renaissance in Egypt in the mid-1800s, and Abdel Rahman El-Abnudi, one of the most prominent contemporary poets. Yet no publishing and distribution house can survive in the region’s hard economic conditions, bar one.

Hypatia Publishing House, the only book publisher located in Upper Egypt, is based in Edfu, a city located on the banks of the Nile River, 134 kilometers (83 miles) from Aswan. It takes its name from the prominent Egyptian Platonic philosopher and mathematician who was executed after being accused by the Byzantine Church of practicing magic, heresy and atheism.

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