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Am Amin: The largest book index App.

Am Amin: The largest book index App.

Am Amin was a graduation project of Informatics and Computers Engineering students in Azhar University. In fact, it started as an idea in 2012 then it became the official application of Cairo International Book Fair on 15th January 2015.

Why 'Am Amin'?

“Am Amin is a commonly used term between youth for the librarian or Amin El-Maktaba as in Arabic. Furthermore, the logo of Am Amin came from our imagination as kids of the librarian who is always an old man with a potbelly, and wears eye-glasses,” Mohamed  El-Sawaf, Am Amin Founder said.

The application provide book lovers with different activities schedule and an interactive map which assists the visitors to reach the halls and publishing houses during the book fair. Also, it is a search index which provides full details about the book such as its price and point of purchase.


El-Sawaf and his team aim to help youth search for books not only during Cairo International Book Fair, but all over the year, in effort to encourage reading. when readers find books they are interested in they can add them to their starred books.


There are four important challenges of Am Amin. First, choosing the team members as we need people who have good skills, potential and commitment. Second is that many people don’t read. Third is the publishing houses who don’t feel the importance of having available online account as they believe that they have exposure through book fairs and libraries but having the experience adds. Last is the financial support that they needed in order to develop Am Amin “At times we couldn’t find financial support therefore we used our personal money in order to continue.” El-Sawaf added.

“In January 2016, the start-up was about to close but luckily Dr. Sherif Abou El-Naga, the Manager of 57357 heard about them from media then started collaborating with them and supporting them by consulting and having media exposure to the application. This has opened the door for them to be partners with UNDP.” He continued

In April 2017, Am Amin had celebrated with the hospital the International Book Day and introduced the children about the importance of book.

Funds and Achievements

El-Sawaf believes  reaching  240,000 books and 300 publishers in addition to 55,000 downloads till the current time is great achievement.  Also in comparison to the biggest two mobile applications in the Middle East that of Riyadh and Sharjah book fair, Am Amin has more information about the book such as a brief, an image for the book cover, its price, and available discounts. Also, they maintain the international system of ten categories.

On the other hand, they participated in about nine or ten competitions where it was always shortlisted without winning. Finally, they won Start IT (TIEC competition) by the application prototype and the prize was Start IT’s supervision of the project, an office in the Smart Village, and EGP 120,000 in April 2016.

They have spent one year from April 2016 till April 2017 in developing a platform full of publishers that have accounts and full access to the website and application to ease the process on the readers.

Now Am Amin has just closed a deal with Aramex which will provide book delivery service with half the price. They will also be working on increasing their outreach in governorates  and making more offers. El- Sawaf noted that they contacted different entities in Saudi Arabia and UAE and we are working on launching there this year.“Also, they are looking forward to make EGP 1.2 million investments by the beginning of 2018 to help the application to disseminate and develop,” according to Al-Borsa newspaper.

Advice for young students and aspiring entrepreneurs

“Employability and making your own start-up is one of the hardest experiences in your whole life,” El-Sawaf said. He went on saying that if one believes that he will be a millionaire after one or two months from launching this is the biggest lie ever. You need to be  psychologically ready and take into consideration that a lot of experienced people with many resources failed to make their start-up and to reach their goal.“Entrepreneurship is not for the weak-hearted people.” He concluded.

This Story is written by Shaden Khalil Ibrahim.

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