Bodour Al Qasimi
Founder and Chairperson
Bodour Al Qasimi is the Founder and Chairperson of Kalimat Foundation and the Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group. She also holds numerous other titles, including Founder and Patron of the UAE Board on Books for Young People, Chairperson of the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund, Founder and Honorary President of the Emirates Publishers Association, and former President of the International Publishers Association (IPA).
Through Kalimat Foundation, Bodour has driven a literary mission, channeling books to children separated from Middle Eastern homelands and residing in refugee and migrant communities around the world, and furthermore supplying accessible formats to visually disabled youth. Currently representing the largest federation within the global publishing industry, setting direction for, and advancing its functions, Bodour Al Qasimi continues to strengthen the IPA agenda on freedom to publish and copyright issues. On the development front, under her guidance, a partnership between the IPA and UAE-based Dubai Cares led to the founding of the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund, committed to supporting literacy, book access, indigenous publishing, and library restoration across the continent.
Bodour has also played a pivotal role in cementing Sharjah’s position as an international centre for publishing, resulting in its nomination as UNESCO World Book Capital 2019. A moderniser with a desire for change, Bodour’s advocacy of female roles in publishing crossed a significant milestone in 2019, with the formation of PublisHer, an informal network that seeks to augment the number of women in leadership roles within the publishing industry. Bodour graduated with a bachelor’s degree in archaeology and anthropology from Cambridge University, and a master’s degree in medical anthropology from University College London.