Bodour Al Qasimi

Bodour Al Qasimi, CEO & Founder, Kalimat Group

Bodour Al Qasimi is a strong advocate of literacy among individuals of all ages, who has to her credit a number of publishing initiatives.

She is both Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, and in 2007, founded the Group’s original imprint, Kalimat—the first publishing house dedicated to the production of Arabic titles for children, which has published over 170 children’s books to date. In 2013, Kalimat expanded into Kalimat Publishing Group to include a second, ground-breaking imprint, Horouf Educational Publishing, which was established to develop an educational programme that aims to pioneer a fresh, fun, future oriented approach to Arabic Education via e-books and apps. In 2015, the publishing group launched a third imprint, Rewayat, which offers novels and short stories for adolescents and adults by celebrated and award-winning Arab and international authors.

Bodour is also the Founder and Patron of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), which was established in 2009 to help develop the UAE’s publishing industry, train and support UAE publishers, and improve publishing-related conditions and laws. It is also responsible for representing UAE publishers internationally. Further, Bodour is a member of the International Publishers Association (IPA) Executive Committee.

Recently, the EPA played a role in the 3rd Arab Publishers Conference (APAC 2015). The two-day conference, which was organised by the Arab Publishers’ Association (APA) and EPA under the theme “Publishing Industry: Prospects and Challenges in the Digital Age”, featured various prominent figures of the publishing world.

Bodour is also the Founder and Patron of the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), the national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), which was established in 2010 to promote a reading culture among children and young people in the UAE. In 2009 she launched, in conjunction with the UAEBBY, the AED one million Etisalat Award sponsored by the leading telecoms provider in the UAE, Etisalat, to inspire young people to read and to encourage children’s authors, illustrators and publishers across the region.

Additionally, Bodour is the Director of Knowledge without Borders (KWB), an initiative launched by HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, with the aim of establishing a library in every house in Sharjah.

Bodour recently received the Emirates Social Award in the ‘individual first class category’ for her leading role in social development and her implementation of numerous initiatives and social campaigns over the years. In appreciation of her contribution to Arab literature, Bodour was named Personality of the Year at the 2013 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature as well as Emirates Woman of the Year in 2012. In 2011, she won the British Council Award for the most successful young publishing entrepreneur.

Bodour Al Qasimi holds a BA (Hons) degree from Cambridge University, and an MSc in Medical Anthropology from the University College London (UCL).