Diving Deep Into Logos Hope: A One-on-one With Port Said’s Floating Book Fair Project Coordinator
Coming back after 12 years, the world’s largest floating library, Logos Hope, has docked its ship at Port Said. For 20 days, bookworms will get to escape and enter into new imaginary worlds through the special collection of books housed within the gigantic ship. With over 5000 titles, guests will get a taste for knowledge by delving into all sorts of topics including history, art, business and cooking. Speaking with Sebastian Moncayo, Logos Hope’s project coordinator, we got an inside look into the story behind this unique vessel as well as what guests will expect during their visit.
Meet Logos Hope
50 years back, a group of friends sat together, had a chat and from that gathering, an idea came to the surface. As avid lovers of literature and its power to create bridges between people from across the world, the group wanted to share the beauty of literature and make it accessible to everyone and that was how the first journey took place. The library took its first trip, traveling from the US and arriving all the way to Mexico, spearheading the start of many more journeys across the globe.
For two to three weeks, the boat would dock at each port, waiting for visitors to be ushered into its massive bookfair. Within those same walls are the volunteers, a truly diverse bunch stemming from 60 different countries including Egypt who come to Logos Hope to work together in harmony and respect, learning from one another and sharing their culture with each other.
Beyond the library, the volunteers would be sent out in teams in whatever port they are visiting. They would head to different communities in the city to engage in “practical work, give out donations, play sports, or just connect and build relationships and start friendships” said Moncayo. A couple of months ago, during their time at Vlorë, a city in Albania, the team headed to a local school to help paint its classrooms. In the same city, the team also hosted their “Meet the World” event where groups of volunteers would hit up the streets and take part in performances including traditional dances.
Logos Hope has always been about forming connections and about offering a special space for visitors to come together and experience an enriched form of cultural exchange. The same goes for the volunteers who would form a community and learn how to value and honor each other as well as the countries and cultures that they visit.
What To Expect At The Upcoming Book Fair
This time around, with Logos Hope’s second visit to Port Said, the city will be seeing a whole new batch of volunteers stepping foot into the beloved Egyptian port. “99% of the crewmembers were not on-board Logos Hope last time the ship visited Port Said, and there is great excitement to get to know Egypt and to meet Egyptians,” said Moncayo.
When it comes to the book fair, a typical day would start out with guests getting their tickets from the “White House” (the name Logos Hope has given to their ticket booth). Each ticket will cost 5 EGP so they are quite affordable. Guests will then climb up the gangway and have that first-time experience of entering the massive ship. Once inside, they will get seated on a lifeboat where they will get an intro about the book fair and watch a short video and from there, they will enter the book fair.
Once there, visitors can browse through the collection of 5000 titles, taking as long as they wish. After the book fair, there’s the International Café, a place where guests can relax and enjoy quality time with friends and family as they snack on everything from popcorn, hotdogs, coffee, juice, sodas and more. Crewmembers will also be on board to engage in fun conversations with guests.
Beyond the library, guests will also enjoy a host of onboard events and there will be offboard activities as well as many of the volunteers will hit up the streets of Port Said and will conduct cultural performances in addition to children’s programs at the Obelisque Plaza, Misr Plaza and the Lesseps Bay.
So, If you are a bookie but also someone who wants to be exposed to a rich melting pot of cultures, visiting Logos Hope will be a great experience to mark the start of 2023.