Shaikha Bodour presented EAFL personality of the year award by festival director Isobel. Image Credit: Courtesy : office of Shaikha Badour

Dubai: Shaikha Budoor Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, founder and CEO of Kalimat publishing house and an active campaigner for various literacy and literature initiatives, was awarded the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2013 Personality of the Year Award.

The award was presented by festival director, Isobel Abulhoul OBE (Order of the British Empire) during a ceremony held at the festival on Thursday morning.

Receiving the award, Shaikha Budoor said she felt honoured by the recognition. “I believe strongly in the importance of a culture of reading, supported by a healthy and thriving publishing industry as a cornerstone of any developed and progressive society, and it is a great privilege to be recognised for my passion in this regard,” she said.

Shaikha Budoor said the award would only deepen her commitment to contribute to the development of the publishing industry in the UAE and across the region.

Isobel said that she was delighted that the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature could honour Shaikha Budoor for her achievements in the field of culture, women’s welfare and children’s literature. “It is perhaps particularly fitting to present Her Excellency with this special award today, which is of course World Book Day and the eve of International Women’s Day. We are celebrating all of these milestones with our very first Ladies Morning during which we have connected hundreds of female students and women from the community with our amazing female writers and speakers,” she said.

Shaikha Latifa Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum also attended two discussions during the ‘Ladies’ Morning’ at the festival.

Shaikha Budoor founded Kalimat, a book publishing house that specialises in publishing quality Arabic children’s books, in 2007. Kalimat has produced over 120 publications in the last five years, many of which have won prestigious regional and international literature prizes. Kalimat has also sold the translation and publishing rights to a number of its books to Italian, Swedish, Turkish, English, Hungarian, Australian and Canadian publishers.