Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Vice President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), who presided over the general assembly meeting, said to the meeting’s attendees: “ Our meeting this year is not an ordinary one. As we meet today to elect a new board and discuss topics pertinent to local publishers, Sharjah and the UAE are also celebrating the inauguration of the emirate as the UNESCO World Book Capital 2019. It is a title we truly cherish - a prestigious fruit we are reaping from the years of hard work we sowed. This title is a culmination of your efforts, as publishers, and as direct contributors to the development of the book industry in our country.”
Sheikha Bodour highlighted the milestones achieved by EPA, thanks to the efforts and collaboration of member publishers, have materialised as specialised services like the information and services centre - One Stop Shop, the Manassah Platform, the exemption of ISBN fees for publishers in the UAE, among several others, which are all effectively contributing to the growth of the local publishing industry.
“Today, we have highly-qualified publishers, empowered with international experience and leading business expertise, who are competently leading the UAE’s publishing industry. The local industry is strong enough to lead and support new players, as well as EPA’s future efforts.
“I hope that you strongly support your newly elected board, and together, advance EPA objectives to furnish more and more industry players with the support and innovation they need to consolidate their operations and succeed their businesses,” Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi further added.
This general assembly meeting was held in the presence of Ministry of Community Development representatives, and a number of Emirati publishers.
EPA Board Members 2019–21
Ali Bin Hatem, who was one of the EPA’s founding members and served as the association’s general secretary, is now EPA President. Throughout his career, Bin Hatem held several posts including the Director of Dar Thaqafa for Publishing and Distribution LLC, Oryx Publishing LLC and Dar Al Khalij Al Arabi for Commercial Publications. Bin Haem is also a founding member of the Arab Union for International Exhibitions and Conferences. His other posts include the Head of GCC Regional Office and the former Director of Exhibitions and Events at the General Exhibitions Corporation.
Iman Ben Chaibah, the newly elected Vice President of EPA, started her career in publishing nine years ago at Sail Magazine to document social debates and discussions in community in the form of opinion articles. The magazine has played an instrumental role in introducing Emirati writers to international readers. She then transformed Sail into full-fledged publishing house dedicated to digital publishing to grow local content and promote Emirati writers in the digital publishing space, internationally.
In recognition of her efforts, Iman won the UAE’s Young Digital Publisher Entrepreneur Award, and was chosen as a Delegate to the International Achievement Summit in San Francisco. She is also a recipient of the Arab Woman Award in Literature.
Mohammed Bin Dekhain, founder and Director of Al Takhayul Publishing, has been appointed as EPA Treasurer. Among the many prestigious media roles he has played for the nation, Dakhin served as an accompanying journalist for His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and as Director of UAE Official News Agency (WAM) between1998 and 2005.
Dr. Alyazia Khalifa is the new EPA General Secretary. She is Founder of Al Fulk Translation and Publishing, which specialises in translating children’s and young adult literature. In 2007, she became the first Emirati to be trained at Germany’s leading GEO magazine as part of the Cross-Cultural-Internship of the German Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA).
Abdullah Al Kaabi, who has been selected board member of EPA. Al Kaabi is the founder of Dragon Publishing and Distribution, dedicated to translating international and Chinese literature into Arabic. He is also an established author with several books like The String of My Thoughts, The Story of the Blue Bag, and The Story of a Dream of the Past, to his credit.
EPA was founded in 2009 with an aim to developing the publishing sector and representing publishers in the UAE and beyond. It works to publish the UAE’s intellectual production in the Arab world. EPA organises and participates in regional and international publishing-related conferences and exhibitions.
© Press Release 2019