Sheikh Zayed Book Award Attends First Ever International Publishers Association Seminar in Middle East

Date: October 1, 2019
Location: Kempinski Hotel, Amman, Jordan

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award participated in the first ever International Publishers Association (IPA) seminar to take place in the Middle East, held in the Jordanian capital of Amman on 30 September and 1 October under the theme “Read. Empower. Transform: The Role of Reading for the Future of the Arab World”. 

Held under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, the seminar, organised by the IPA in cooperation with the Union of Jordanian Publishers, looked to discuss the publishing industry from both a regional and global standpoint.  The conference was attended by HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Authority and Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, and Abdullah Majid Al Ali, Acting Executive Director of Dar Al Kutub at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

The seminar convened a remarkable group of global industry leaders, decision makers, intellectuals, top publishers and authors working in publishing and education. The event aimed to find solutions to the most pressing challenges in the regional industry, and featured a wide range of activities and workshops, in addition to 12 inspiring and informative panel sessions.

Topics discussed included publishing industry issues and possible solutions, the digital age and its importance for the region's future, the influence of cultural projects in motivating publishers and writers and also the subject of digital disruption and how best to leverage it. Also covered by the seminar was the role of the publishing industry in humanitarian responses, particularly the repatriation of refugees.

His Excellency Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Secretary General of Sheikh Zayed Book Award, participated in a panel on the second day, titled ‘Bringing the Voice of Arab Writers, Publishers and Content Creators to the World’. The panel, moderated by Wael Attili, co-founder of Kharabeesh Innovation, and also featuring Dia Haykal, Head of Content at Haykal Media and journalist Dr. Inaam Kachachi of Asharq Al Awsat, focused on how Arab writers and publishers can benefit from an increasing global demand for content.

The IPA is one of the most prestigious international vocational organisations in the world, encompassing national and regional publishing unions. Established in 1896 in Paris and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, its membership spans more than 70 publishers’ organisations and associations from around 65 countries. The Union of Jordanian Publishers was established in 1996, as a cultural, non-profit organisation to regulate the publishing and distribution sector in Jordan and develop sponsorship for these activities.