Sharjah: In recognition of her ongoing efforts to develop the publishing industry in the UAE, Emirati publishers have unanimously elected Shaikha Budoor Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, as president of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) for the second time.
Shaikha Budoor will once more lead this vibrant sector which contributes Dh820 million to the UAE’s national economy.
Shaikha Budoor, who founded the EPA in February 2009, was elected during the EPA’s Sixth General Assembly. The session also saw the election of the new board for 2017-2018, and was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Community Development, who supervised the voting process.
The biennial election also saw the election of Ali Al Sha’ali as vice-president, Ali Bin Hatem as secretary, Mohammad Bin Dukhain as treasurer, and Nooh Al Hammadi as board member of EPA.
Under the tenure of Shaikha Budoor, the EPA has achieved many major milestones, most notably gaining full membership of the International Publishers Association (IPA), one of the world’s most influential publishing associations, in 2012 and was then elected the first Arab woman to serve on the Executive Committee.
Shaikha Budoor’s efforts and strong relations with publishers’ associations and unions around the world helped the EPA to establish itself as a pioneering voice for the growth and development of the publishing industry in the UAE, GCC and wider Middle East.
She entered the publishing field in 2007 when she founded Kalimat Publishing, the first Emirati publishing house dedicated to publishing quality Arabic titles for children. Thanks to her long-term vision, Kalimat Publishing grew to become the Kalimat Group in 2013.
Shaikha Budoor is the founder and patron of the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), and in 2009 she launched the ‘Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature’, the largest and most prestigious children’s literature award in the Arab world. In 2014, she also launched the ‘Read to Syria’s Children’ initiative to alleviate the suffering of Syrian refugee children, and inaugurated a 3,000-book children’s library, the first of its kind for Syrian refugees.
Shaikha Budoor’s extensive efforts and her participation in numerous international book fairs has enabled her to raise international awareness of the status of the UAE’s publishing sector, and highlight the country’s ongoing support to culture and the book industry.