Chief Guest to the 12th Edition Ceremony: Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi
Born in Sharjah, the UAE in 1978, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi holds a BA (Hons) from Cambridge, an MSc in Medical Anthropology from University College London, and has successfully completed publishing courses from both Yale and Columbia.
In 2007 Sheikha Bodour founded Kalimat, the first publishing house dedicated to the production of quality original Arabic children’s titles. To date, Kalimat has published over 140 Arabic children’s books, and has sold translation and publishing rights to a number of its books to industry acclaimed international publisher and has received numerous awards, including being named Sharjah International Book Fair’s Publisher of the Year in 2012.
She is also the Founder and former President of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), which is responsible for representing UAE publishers locally and internationally, developing the country’s publishing industry, and participating in domestic and overseas exhibitions and conferences. In 2012, her efforts gained the EPA full membership of the International Publishers Association (IPA).
Recently, in recognition of her vision to make reading accessible to all, as well as for her role as communication facilitator with wide-ranging international organisations and institutions to help support and enrich the cultural exposure of children and individuals with special needs – in particular the blind – Sheikha Bodour participated in the Diplomatic Conference of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Marrakesh, Morocco, during which the historical treaty to make books available to the visually impaired was signed.
Away from publishing Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi stands as Vice President of the Sharjah Ladies Club, a combination leisure facility and community body committed to the intellectual and social development of Sharjah’s women and children.