Won a regional award for her creative initiatives

Bodour Al Qasimi. Positive Change Maker

Bodour Al Qasimi: "Creativity means you've created something that didn't exist before, and if you've done it in a way that provides solutions to challenges, I'm happy about that."

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the American University of Sharjah, stressed that "creativity is one of humanity's greatest strengths," noting that "creativity means that you made something that didn't exist before, and if you've done it in a way that provides solutions to challenges, I'm happy about that."

This came on the occasion of Sheikha Badour winning the Fast Company Middle East Award for the most innovative people in business for the year 2023, in the category of "Making Positive Change for Societies" in recognition of her outstanding achievements, which have a sustainable impact on individuals and communities.

In addition to founding Kalimat Publishing Group, Sheikha has led many international and local institutions of a cultural, scientific and developmental nature, as she was the second woman and the first Arab to win the presidency of the International Publishers Association for the years 2021-2022, and launched the "Bubble Hair" initiative in 2019, which aims to empower women to reach leadership positions in the global publishing sector. She played a major role in Sharjah winning the title of World Book Capital for 2019 through her chairmanship of the UNESCO Application Submission Committee, in addition to establishing the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, which combines the idea of the library and the Center for Social and Knowledge Interaction, as well as launching the Kalimat Foundation to enable displaced and visually impaired children to access books and read.

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi said: "I thank those in charge of the award for their initiative with this recognition." "I remember Steve Jobs once said that only those who truly believe they can, and that's true. You need to think differently to make a difference, and that's something I think all nominees have in common."

The award, which celebrates various forms of creativity, is a tribute to Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi's journey in launching innovative projects and leading a series of initiatives for the benefit of community members, with a focus on providing knowledge and culture.

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi founded the Emirates Publishers Association in 2009 with the aim of developing the publishing industry in the UAE and making it more professional, before the association was able to become a member of the International Publishers Association (IPA), and chaired several committees and initiatives, until she was chosen as Vice President of the Association between 2019 and 2020.

In 2019, Sheikha Bodour partnered with the International Publishers Association (IPA) and Dubai Cares to launch the African Publishing Innovation Fund.

Reflecting her vision on the importance of the role of women in enhancing the resilience of the publishing sector and improving its efficiency, Sheikha Badour has exerted, during her presidency of the Federation, qualitative efforts to increase women's representation in committees, discussion sessions, dialogues and meetings, and these efforts resulted in two women assuming the positions of President and Vice-President after the end of Sheikha Badour's term, and the current Vice President is scheduled to become President of the Federation in 2025, which will make her the third woman in a row to occupy this position.

Sheikha Bodour contributed to Sharjah's World Book Capital title in 2019 thanks to an innovative year-long programme that focused on inclusion as a priority. To celebrate the title, and to commemorate this anniversary, she founded the House of Wisdom, a cultural center and library focused on interaction and enlightenment.

Sheikha Bodour established the Kalimat Foundation in 2016 to provide access to books for disadvantaged Arab children, refugees and those with visual impairments. The Foundation seeks to provide these children with knowledge, empowering them by giving them books in accessible formats. To date, 162,31 disadvantaged children have benefited from the Foundation in <> countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

Features of development

The book collection on display also includes the book "Fujairah", which documents historical and geographical aspects of the emirate, the most important features of its development projects, and deals with the period of the late Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi's rule of the emirate.