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Power Lunch with Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi

Jun 13, 2021
House of Wisdom

The latest installment of Young Arab Leaders’ Power Lunch series was held at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah on June 13, 2021, with H.E. Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, President, International Publishers Association, taking guests around what is set to be the Emirate’s new iconic cultural hub.

Commissioned in honor of Sharjah being granted the World Book Capital title in 2019 by the United Nations Educational. Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the House of Wisdom has been built as a reimagination of what a library could be, with the 12,000 sq. m. structure designed by Foster + Partners as a modern interpretation of a knowledge hub.

With H.E. Sheikha Bodour leading the gathering, the members of Young Arab Leaders were treated to a tour around the magnificently designed House of Wisdom by its Director Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi and members of her team, with guests left in awe of its 105,000-book library, its Al Jazri digital fabrication lab, its Little Reader space for children, and more.

With the House of Wisdom aiming “to become the destination for culture, education, arts and education, arts, and edutainment, and to ease access knowledge for all,” H.E. Sheikha Bodour shared insights into the journey that’s led to the creation of what is the grandest contribution to Sharjah’s public offerings where books, knowledge and cultural enrichment can be accessed.

Led by Chairperson Muna Al Gurg, Director of Retail at Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, and Vice-Chairperson Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, this edition of the Young Arab Leaders Power Lunch featured guests like Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) Executive Chairman Marwan Al Sarkal, Barjeel Art Foundation founder Sultan Al Qassemi, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) CEO Najla Al Midfa, Entrepreneur Middle East Editor in Chief Aby Sam Thomas, and others. 

Read full feature on Entrepreneur Middle East

About the Speaker

Bodour Al Qasimi is President of the International Publishers Association (IPA). Her exemplary work over decades to further Sharjah’s contributions as a hub for reading, literacy and culture culminated in a global recognition for the emirate recently as it was named World Book Capital 2019 – 2020 by UNESCO.

A trailblazer in the global publishing scene, Bodour Al Qasimi is creating a positive impact on the world by pushing IPA’s agenda on freedom to publish and intellectual property rights. In 2019, Bodour Al Qasimi’s work in the field of women’s empowerment crossed a unique milestone with as she established PublisHer – an informal networking body that seeks to increase the number of women in leadership roles within the publishing industry.

As the CEO and founder of Kalimat Publishing Group, she has been an avid advocate of the role of books and literacy to enlighten children, and has led, through her own Kalimat Foundation, a number of campaigns to provide thousands of books for refugees and children affected by conflicts and hardship worldwide.

Passionate about supporting entrepreneurship, she established the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center ‘Sheraa’ in 2016 as a platform to shape a generation of changemakers in the emirate, positioning it globally as a vibrant start-up hub.

Bodour has a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology and Anthropology from Cambridge University and a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology from University College London.

About House of Wisdom

The House of Wisdom is Sharjah’s new iconic cultural hub. It was commissioned in honor of the Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 title by UNESCO and is the living legacy of the promises made then, namely to continue to promote reading and ease of access to knowledge to all members of society and in doing so, become a progressive society that are catalysts of harmonious coexistence.