For Love of the Written Word: Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Who among Myriad Other Roles Is a Dedicated Pioneer of Children's Book Publishing in the UAE, Shared Her Views and Hopes about Books, Publishing and the Future of Sharjah with the Middle East Magazine's Rhona Wells on the Sidelines of the 2012 Sharjah Book Fair

By Wells, Rhona | The Middle East, January 2013 | Go to article overview

For Love of the Written Word: Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Who among Myriad Other Roles Is a Dedicated Pioneer of Children's Book Publishing in the UAE, Shared Her Views and Hopes about Books, Publishing and the Future of Sharjah with the Middle East Magazine's Rhona Wells on the Sidelines of the 2012 Sharjah Book Fair


Wells, Rhona, The Middle East


You started Kalimat, publishing children's book five year ago. How is it going?

I started Kalimat mainly because I wanted to offer Emiratis the chance to publish children's stories. Now we have over 100 titles with lots of Emirati writers.

At the beginning all our authors came from Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, the 'well-established' literary markets. In the UAE, writing for children was not regarded as a profession, but I am very proud to say that five years on things have changed a lot; many of our authors are now locally based. So I feel it has really offered them and many local illustrators, a great platform.

Are Kalimat books getting international exposure? Yes they are, on two fronts. One of the books is translated into English, which we feel is a real breakthrough.

My Own Special Way, by Maitha Al Khayyat, about a young girl's ambition to wear the hijab just like her older sisters, captures the essence of Kalimat, which specialises in books written specifically for children in the UAE and the Middle East. Through stories rooted in local culture, the stories focus on the value of family, friendship and Islam as well as other issues children in the region can expect to encounter.

It has been translated into other languages and is particularly popular in Turkey.

Our other collection, and one that is generating international interest is our "historical figures" collection.

Ibn Battuta is one of the stars of a new collection aimed at educating children about historically influential people in the Arab world. The series also includes the scientist, philosopher, astronomer and poet, Avicenna who lived and worked around a thousand years ago. These books are also very popular with people in other countries who want to know about our cultural roots; it is important for the wider world to learn about these important historical figures that are sometimes forgotten.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

You run an initiative, called "knowledge without borders" which includes distributing free books to families. How does this work?

My father, the Ruler of Sharjah, Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi started this initiative in 2008 and later, passed the project on to me to run. We buy books from Arab publishers and pass them on to families, who receive a collection of books to allow them to enjoy reading in their own homes. People who would not be able to buy books get them through this initiative and the local publishers also sell their books, so it's a win-win situation.

I then established the mobile libraries, which reach out to communities in the remote areas that have no access to books or libraries; it also goes to workplaces to encourage people to borrow and read books; it helps promote the culture of reading which is really important. People get excited when they see the mobile library bus arrive. I want people to love books. I love books and it is very important to me to give every one a chance to love books as well. "The Love of the written word" was the motto my father used when he first started the Sharjah book fair in 1981 and, like him, I believe books are paramount for people's growth.

You have some very cute ideas such as the Buggy books Yes, we are always promoting reading for the very young, we had cloth books, bath books that could get wet in the bath and now we have added the Buggy books; at that age, children want to read so with the added safety of the book not landing on the floor the child can read to its heart's content. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

For Love of the Written Word: Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Who among Myriad Other Roles Is a Dedicated Pioneer of Children's Book Publishing in the UAE, Shared Her Views and Hopes about Books, Publishing and the Future of Sharjah with the Middle East Magazine's Rhona Wells on the Sidelines of the 2012 Sharjah Book Fair
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.