Kalimat Group Expands Reach to Arabic Audience in Paris
Kalimat Group, the Sharjah-based publisher of Arabic books, has concluded its highly successful participation at the Paris Book Fair, having contributed to France’s most celebrated literary festival with a number of insights into Arab authors and the reading culture of Arab children and young adults.
As part of the event, the audience were introduced to two authors who highlighted Kalimat’s support of all writers, from those whose career is in its early stages to the most established and prolific in the Middle East.
In a panel debate, ‘Writing for Children in the Arab World’, Kalimat authors Fatima Sharafeddine, who has written more than 120 books and Dubai Abulhoul, whose fantasy novel ‘Galagolia’ was published when she was just 16-years-old, discussed the challenges and opportunities of writing for a younger readership.
During the discussion, moderated by Olivia Snaije, the editor of Bookwitty and a Paris-based journalist, the authors were asked about their inspiration and motivation behind writing children’s books. Fatima Sharafeddine who has won a number of awards and honors, the last of which is the Bologna Ragazzi New Horizons Award 2016 for the book “Tongue Twisters” published by Kalimat, shared tips on writing and the obstacles children’s authors face. Dubai Abulhoul, who was named the Young Arab of the Year at ITP Media Group’s first Young Arab Awards, and one of the UAE’s 100 Smartest People by Arabian Business, also spoke about how being one of the youngest authors in the UAE helps her to relate to today’s generation of readers.
The authors also described the similarities and disparities between literature for Arab and western children and their own different perspectives as highly-established and less-seasoned authors.
As well as a three-day book sale held at the fair to foster a love of literature and learning in the young attendees, Kalimat organised reading and book signing sessions at the Arab World Institute in Paris for Sharafeddine and Abulhoul, alongside Guy Delisle, author of Pyongyang, a graphic novel published in Arabic by Comics (an imprint under KG) and Lebanese author Samar Mahfouz Barraj author of “Famous by Chance” and many other books.
Since its inception, Kalimat Group has participated in 50 international book fairs worldwide and distributed its books in more than 16 countries and 3,000 schools. The group prides itself on publishing the highest-quality Arabic books, 30 of which have won prestigious Arab and international awards. Kalimat Group has collaborated with more than 120 authors and 100 illustrators from around the world. Fifty of its books were translated from Arabic into foreign languages. So far, Kalimat Group has published more than 400 Arabic titles.
Kalimat is dedicated to publishing Arabic children books. With a portfolio of internationally acclaimed authors and illustrators, Kalimat has an extensive range of books highlighting traditional Arabic culture alongside the modern challenges faced by today’s
children. Kalimat has grown rapidly and has already produced over 175 quality Arabic children’s titles, many of which have received Arab, local and international recognition and many were translated to different languages. Since it was established in 2007, Kalimat has received
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