Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi has become the first Arab woman to be appointed president of the International Publishers Association (IPA).
Sheikha Bodour, daughter of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, is expected to assume the role in early January next year. The announcement of the new position was made at the virtual IPA General Assembly Congress (GAC) on Sunday.
Sheikha Bodour has served as the vice-president of the IPA since 2018 and will be the second woman to undertake the role as president of the organization, since Argentina’s Ana Maria Cabanellas, who served as the vice-president and president roles from 2004-2008.
The IPA is a non-profit organization founded in 1896. It looks to promote and protect publishing across the world, raising awareness in the context of economic, cultural, and political development. The IPA is made up of 83 organizations from 69 different countries, representing thousands of publishers across the world.
Sheikha Bodour has been a long-time champion of the region’s publishing industry and is widely responsible for the development of the industry in the UAE, across the GCC, and the wider Arab region.
She is heavily involved in many regional and international initiatives that aim to promote youth and children’s empowerment. The UAE’s first publishing house for children’s Arabic books, Kalimat Publishing Group, was founded by Sheikha Bodour in 2007 and is recognized globally as an industry pioneer for books highlighting traditional Arabic culture alongside highlighting the contemporary challenges faced by children.
Most recently Sheikha Bodour has poured her efforts into supporting those affected by the port explosion in Beirut, on August 4. Since the blast, Her Excellency has spearheaded an initiative to restore many of the libraries that were damaged and, as head of Sharjah World Book Capital Office, also created an emergency relief fund to support publishers who have been impacted by the tragedy.