• Bassma Al Jandaly, Editor In Chief

Bodour Al Qasimi, first Arab woman to be appointed president of International Publishers Association


SHARJAH -- Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi has become the first woman in the Arab world to be appointed President of the International Publishers Association (IPA) since the founding of the organisation in 1896. The announcement was made yesterday at the IPA General Assembly Congress (GAC) held virtually via Zoom platform.


With her appointment as IPA President, Sheikha Bodour becomes the second woman globally to occupy the position after Ana Maria Cabanellas of Argentina who had served as Vice President and President of the Association from 2004–8. She will be assuming the position officially in January 2021.


For the past two years, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi has been serving as the Vice President of IPA following her election to the position at the 2018 IPA General Assembly.


The appointment of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi to one of the most significant and influential positions in the book industry, marks the culmination of her years-long efforts in developing the publishing industry and boosting the prospects of publishers in the UAE, across the GCC, and in the wider Arab region. Her relentless efforts in launching several regional and international initiatives has enabled the regional and global publishing sectors enhance the quality of their output and service delivery, and turned the spotlight on the need to offer emerging markets with the tools and resources they need to realise their full potential.


Sheikha Bodour’s appointment marks a milestone in the global achievements recorded by the UAE and is an international recognition of Sharjah’s strong cultural and intellectual legacy.


Throughout her career, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi’s numerous professional achievements have had a remarkable impact on UAE’s cultural offerings. The IPA President-elect founded the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) in 2009 which gained full membership of IPA in 2012.


Sheikha Bodour’s continuous efforts in boosting Sharjah’s onward journey of cultural development by enhancing its publishing landscape played a vital role in the selection of Sharjah as the UNESCO World Book Capital 2019, whose Advisory Committee she headed.

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