Bodour Al Qasimi is President of the International Publishers Association (IPA). Her exemplary work over decades to further Sharjah’s contributions as a hub for reading, literacy and culture culminated in a global recognition for the emirate recently as it was named World Book Capital 2019 – 2020 by UNESCO.
As the CEO and founder of Kalimat Publishing Group, Bodour has been an avid advocate of the role of books and literacy to enlighten children, and has led, through her own Kalimat Foundation, a number of campaigns to provide thousands of books for refugees and children affected by conflicts and hardship worldwide.
A trailblazer in the global publishing scene, Bodour is creating a positive impact on the world by pushing IPA’s agenda on freedom to publish and intellectual property rights. In 2019, Bodour’s work in the field of women’s empowerment crossed a unique milestone with as she established PublisHer – an informal networking body that seeks to increase the number of women in leadership roles within the publishing industry.
That same year, a partnership between the IPA and UAE-based global philanthropic organization, Dubai Cares, lead to the creation of the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF) – a grant program committed to supporting literacy, book access, indigenous publishing, and library restoration in Africa, chaired by Bodour.
Passionate about supporting entrepreneurship, she established the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center ‘Sheraa’ in 2016 as a platform to shape a generation of changemakers in the emirate, positioning it globally as a vibrant start-up hub.
Bodour has a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology and Anthropology from Cambridge University and a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology from University College London.