• Wednesday, June 26, 2024

The 6th Arab Publishers Conference Examines Cutting-Edge Tactics to Develop the Regional Publishing Sector


on Nov 03, 2022
The 6th Arab Publishers Conference Examines Cutting-Edge Tactics to Develop the Regional Publishing Sector

The sixth iteration of the two-day Arab Publishers Conference (APC), which coincided with the start of the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair, began on Wednesday at Expo Centre Sharjah under the sponsorship and presence of Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA).

The conference was held under the theme "Arabic Content Creation and Post-Pandemic Challenges" and was organized by Emirates Publishers Association in collaboration with Sharjah Book Authority. It brought together eminent local and regional figures, including Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth; Mohamed Rashad, President of the Arab Publishers Association (APA); and Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, in the region.

Bodour Al Qasimi discussed three lessons she learned while serving as the IPA's president during her visits to book fairs in the area and abroad and meetings with publisher associations from more than 25 countries in her keynote address. These lessons, according to her, include the importance of collaborating and connecting with the international publishing industry, enhancing bilateral regional collaboration amongst publishers, and advocating for inclusive and diverse policies to bring about constructive change.

"The global publishing business is now seeing fast and transformational transformations," the IPA President remarked. If Arab publishers want to continue being significant players in discussions about the current state and future of the publishing industry, they must keep themselves current through ongoing and active contacts with regional and worldwide publishers, institutions, and organizations.

The biggest publishing business success stories, according to Bodour Al Qasimi, "are the result of successful bilateral regional collaboration amongst publishers in the same geographic region, especially those that share a similar language or cultural values." Arab publishers should work more closely together regionally to make the most of available resources and expand their market reach.

HE Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, highlighted the significance of holding the APC in conjunction with SIBF 2022, citing the book fair as one of the most significant Arab and worldwide cultural events and highlighting its favorable effects on the Arab publishing industry.

The Minister noted that this reflects the expansion of the publishing sector in the UAE and the corresponding rise in demand for investments in the book industry, which is the result of the landmarks and successes attained by the country over the past years in organizing exhibitions, launching literary awards, offering incentives, and enacting legislation that protects and safeguards the rights of publishers and authors and fosters the growth of the publishing sector eco-system.

The Arab League's Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, emphasized in a recorded message that the league views culture as a bridge connecting Arab nations, adding that culture is a strong and enduring bond because it is based on the Arabic language, which Arabs use to read and produce academic and creative content.

The Secretary-General applauded the expanding readership in the Arab world as a result of the introduction of powerful and effective reading programs, particularly by the UAE. He called on Arab nations to keep assisting the publishing sector because of its crucial civic and cultural function.

For his part, Mohamed Rashad, president of the Arab Publishers Association, praised His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, a member of the Supreme Council and the ruler of Sharjah, for his patronage and support of the publishing sector. Rashad emphasized that the involvement of the Arab Publishers Union in international shows in Frankfurt, London, Paris, and Bologna was funded by the Sharjah Ruler.

Vice-President of EPA Iman Ben Chaibah emphasized that APC wants to consider methods to quicken the development of tools and solutions to reach a larger network of readers and satisfy the needs of diverse societal sectors.

Due to the growing popularity of remote learning, which makes Arabic content development and creation a top priority, the EPA Vice President noted that this was crucial, especially for students and scholars.

The opening session of Day 1 of the Arab Publishers Conference, which had four sessions, was titled "Book Fairs in the Era of Digitization." Dr. Jamal Yahyaoui, Director of the National Book Center and Head of the Historical Archives and Documents Office in Algeria; Dr. Shukri Al Mabkhout, author and academic critic from Tunisia; and Ali Abd El-Moneim, Publishing and Partnerships Consultant for Egypt were among the panelists in the session. He was also the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre.

The other seminars included topics like "Developing Publishers and Publishing Industry and Addressing the Evident Skills Gap," "Post-pandemic Marketing Opportunities for the Arabic Book," and "Digitization Impact on Copyrights During the Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities."

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