Shaikha Budoor Bint Sultan Al Qasimi during the panel discussion Image Credit: Supplied

Gothenburg, Sweden: Shaikha Budoor Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, president of the Emirates Publishers Association, founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, has highlighted the need for institutional and individual collaboration to develop the Arabic children’s book industry and enrich children’s libraries with inspiring publications for youngsters who have unprecedented access to foreign cultures through increasingly sophisticated technology.

She was speaking at a panel discussion entitled ‘Arabic Children’s Literature Today — Challenges and Opportunities’ which was held at the Gothenburg Book Fair 2017 in Sweden. The fair, the largest cultural event of its kind in the Scandinavian countries and Europe’s second largest book fair, will run till Sunday.

Shaikha Budoor said: “Since the inception of Kalimat publishing house, we have mainly focused on publishing high quality Arabic children’s books that tell stories and depict settings and places Arab children find familiar and interact with, while opening up their horizons to understand and respect other cultures.”

She urged children’s book authors around the world to continue to produce creative literature and pick inspiring topics that take children on fascinating journeys to explore the world around them.

At the end of the session, she invited participants to attend the upcoming Sharjah International Book Fair, which will take place at Expo Centre Sharjah from November 1 to 11. She pointed out that the fair offers a valuable opportunity for Arab publishers and other participating publishers from across the globe to exchange experiences and expertise in the book industry.

On the sidelines of the opening of Gothenburg Book Fair, Shaikha Budoor opened the ‘Multilingual Square’ for non-Swedish speaking publishers, as part of unwavering efforts to support the publishing industry.

She underlined the importance of such an initiative in achieving cultural communication between participating publishers from across the world, who share the same vision that books are a source of knowledge and a treasure trove of endeavour, history, humanity and imagination.