Arab publishing facing challenges: Bodour - GulfToday

Arab publishing facing challenges: Bodour


We cannot impose our thoughts on the children of the digital revolution, said Sheikha Bodour.

Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Vice President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), has stressed that the publishing industry in the Arab region and other countries around the world are faced with the same challenges, but opportunities are ripe to consolidate their role in promoting their own businesses, as well as the authors’ efforts and readers’ access to quality reading material.

The assertion was made during an opening speech she delivered on the second day of IPA’s First Middle East Regional Conference, organised in collaboration with the Union of Jordanian Publishers (UJP), on the sidelines of the 19th  annual Amman International Book Fair (AIBF), which concludes today (Tuesday). 

“The publishing industry in the Arab region is facing specific challenges, namely, the lack of distribution channels, good editors and professional literary agents. Others manifest as financing difficulties, restricted freedom to publish, lack of knowledge about intellectual property rights (IPR), and subsequently, poor compliance in some markets, or publishers’ apprehensions to go digital in their production and content development processes. Addressing these challenges will be the first step in identifying the course on which to steer the region’s publishing industry.

Stressing that the conference brought to light these challenges frankly and transparently, Sheikha Bodour continued: “The publishing industry in the Arab world needs strong and consistent support. We are at a turning point in the history of our publishing sector, being brought about by new influences like Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, which are transforming methods of learning, reading and knowledge dissemination. We cannot predict the way these methods will further transform in future. What we can do is take proactive steps to achieve our goals. We are bringing up a generation who are the children of digital revolution; they see technology as an integral part of their lives.

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