Kalimat Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in Sharjah, under the patronage of Bodour Al Qasimi. The foundation, which began operations in 2016, was launched to uphold children's rights to access books, in particular those from the Middle East region who are victims of war and forced displacement, and those who are visually disabled.
With the aim of building better prospects in learning and subsequently opportunities in adulthood, Kalimat Foundation’s principles are founded upon advancing literacy.
We provide vulnerable and visually disabled children access to reading material. For the ones living amongst refugee and asylum seeking diaspora, the objective is to engage them in contemporary literature whilst maintaining bonds with the Arabic customs and heritage, from which they originate.
Our work and objectives go further to promote the outcomes of the 2013 Marrakesh Treaty, acceded by the United Arab Emirates, for the wider availability of books published in accessible formats, to benefit the blind, the visually impaired, and those who have print disabilities. In similar accord Kalimat Foundation and the Accessible Books Consortium, a public private partnership headed by the World Intellectual Property Organization, partnered one another in 2018, for the production of born accessible books in the Arabic language.
We have a tradition steeped in literature and publishing. Sharjah, the city in which we are headquartered was awarded UNESCO World Book Capital 2019. Bodour Al Qasimi, our chairperson is president of the International Publishers Association, founder of the Emirates Publishers Association, and founder and patron of the UAE Board on Books for Young People. Kalimat Group for which she is founder and CEO, is an award-winning publishing house benefiting from 450 titles, of which 120 are written by acclaimed authors; licensing and distribution rights in 16 countries, and international partnerships constituting Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom, Quarto in the United States, France’s Editions Gallimard Jeunesse and Italy’s Galluci Editore.
We serve vulnerable and visually disabled children, equipping and empowering them with knowledge and ideas in books, through a variety of accessible formats.
Our vision is to instil a love for reading amongst disadvantaged youth, to inspire them with new possibilities and ideals.