Sunday, 8 December 2013
Adam Bookshop / مكتبة آدم
I found the Adam Bookshop by chance, as I was shopping for shoes for my daughter. There is certainly very little to advertise its presence in Maadi Grand Mall (see Location map), and even a casual visitor to the mall may not notice the store on the LOWER LEVEL, next to the cafeteria.
Despite its relatively remote location, the store is appears to be well-known, and well-frequented -- particularly by families who send their children to one of the German schools here in Cairo ... because they carry a huge selection of German titles, including school textbooks in all subjects (incl. Maths -- the exercise books may be useful for speakers of other languages, too).
Indeed, I read on their website that the store is the official distributor for Langenscheidt and Duden Verlag titles (the familiar sight of their yellow spines brings back memories of school days -- where are the Reclamheftchen?). They also seem to organize regular book bazaars at the DEO, and regular community events for children.
So what do they stock? They have everything you will ever need to learn (or teach) German, in addition to a large selection of children's books in German and English, with some French. There is also a very decent choice of literature in German and English (and a few shelves of French -- you'd better go to Livres de France around the corner for those. More on LdF later.), including both bestsellers and literary classics. They stock a huge number of translations from Arabic into German, and into English. The German-language community magazine Papyrus is available here, as are Egyptian- and art-themed calendars, notebooks, postcards, maps, guidebooks, etc... . I do like their gift items, and this may be a good place to look for something to send back home.
In a nutshell, don't be fooled by the word "bookshop", and their website in English -- this is in fact a real, well-stocked Buchladen. The reason would be that the owner, Mr. Radwan, spent many years living in Germany, and founded the store upon his return to Egypt in 2003. As noted above, the store does seem to fill a gap by meeting the needs of German-speaking famillies in Cairo; I wish they could also keep a registry of certified German teachers in the Maadi area. I have been looking for one, but found that even the Goethe Institute can't help.
Final verdict: well worth a visit, even if you're not a Germanophile.