3rd Arab Publishers Conference announces keynote speakers

SHARJAH, 12th October, 2015 (WAM) — The 3rd Arab Publishers Conference, APAC, being held in the Emirate of Sharjah for the first time, has announced the names of its keynote speakers, including Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of the Emirates Publishers Association, EPA, American adviser and expert Alec Ross, and Lebanese writer and novelist, Elias Khoury.

The speakers will deliver keynote speeches during the conference which will be held at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre on November 2nd and 3rd under the title, “Publishing Industry: Prospects and Challenges in the Digital Age”.

The speakers will highlight multiple issues related to their experience in the publishing industry, including professional observations, in line with the conference direction aimed at exploring the future of publishing in the Arab world and across the globe.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi said, “With a flourishing publishing industry, nations are able to write their future and determine the course and the philosophies of their civilisations. In the Arab world, the publishing industry has never been in a better position to seize many opportunities despite various challenges. However, it is important to take into account that Arab geo-political and economic contexts are putting a lot of pressure on the Arab publishing industry and the production of cultural goods in general, and we cannot discuss the future without fully coming to terms with what this context really means to the industry.”

“Through a distinguished group of Arab and international speakers, we will address all issues relating to the strategic and technical challenges facing the industry in our part of the world and put them into their global context. The publishing industry is crucial to the development of nations and to the promotion of the ideals of peace, tolerance, and understanding and we are committed through this conference to explore all the practical solutions to support its mission,” added Sheikha Bodour.

Sheikha Bodour is an active and prominent figure in the publishing industry and children’s literature. She is the founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, which specialises in the publication of books for children and adolescents, and smart applications in the Arabic language. She is also the founder and Patron of the UAE Board on Books for Young People, UAEBBY, the national branch of the International Board on Books for Young People, as well as Head of the Organising Committee of Knowledge without Borders, KWB. The General Assembly of the International Publishers Association, IPA, has appointed Sheikha Bodour as Member of IPA’s Executive Committee in recognition of her outstanding effort to support the publishing industry.

Sheikha Bodour has won a number of awards, including the British Council Young Publisher Entrepreneur Award 2011, the Emirates Women of the Year Award in 2012, and Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2013 Personality of the Year award. In the same year, she won the Personality of the Year in support of education during the Sharjah Award for Educational Excellence 2013. She received the Arab Woman Award UAE 2014 for the Education Category. In 2014, Forbes Middle East magazine has honoured Sheikha Bodour by selecting her among the 200 most powerful Arab women in family business in recognition of her role in founding and managing the Kalimat Group The conference will be attended by a range of publishing professionals, including Ministries of Culture, unions and associations, publishing syndicates in the Arab world, directors of national libraries, managers of Arabic book exhibitions, public and private institutions involved in the publishing industry, intellectuals, writers, journalists, legal experts, academics, and university students from around the world.