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Abu Dhabi Publishing Forum Discusses Writers’ Role In Supporting Publishing Landscape
(31 January 2018)


The inaugural session of the Abu Dhabi Publishing Forum discussed the experience of writers and the role that they play in supporting the industry by establishing publishing companies that produce various types of literary works and publications by different authors.

The event, organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, opened today under the theme ‘Transformations and Achievements in the Publishing Industry: The Emirati Experience.’ The first session at the Abu Dhabi Publishing Forum themed "Authorship and Publishing: The Emirati Experience", with Ayesha Sultan, Publisher, Dar Al Waraq Publishing and Distribution, Emirati writer Khalid Al Issa, Emirati writer and novelist Abdullah Al Nuaimi, writer and novelist Reem Al Kamali, as panelists under the moderation of Noor Al Sheikh.

The session stressed that the publishing industry in the UAE has grown beyond its foundational stage and is in the process of empowering writers and publishers, taking its expertise in the industry from a local level to a global stage.

The second session of the day, titled 'Supporting and Developing the Publishing Industry in the UAE' was led by Dr. Rashid Al Nuaimi, Executive Director of Support Services at the National Media Council, Emirati writer Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Ali Al Nuaimi, Director General of United Printing & Publishing (Abu Dhabi Media Company subsidiary), Mohammed Bin Dakhin Al Matroushi, Member of the Emirates Publishers Association.

The session was moderated by Emirati academic and writer, Dr. Fatima Al Breiki and discussed the services within the publishing industry, the impact of the many variables on the market, and the issues concerning printing, marketing and distribution.

The Forum’s first day concluded with a session titled Leading Publishing Projects in the UAE with a panel consisting of Abdulla Majed Al Ali, Acting Executive Director of the National Library Sector at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Huda Alkhamis – Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), and Noura Binhadiya, General Manager of Knowledge without Borders, and was moderated by Reem Nasser Al Otaiba.

In his speech, Abdulla Majed Al Ali, spoke about the Forum being one of the landmark projects that the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi has been working on: "Launching the first edition of the Abu Dhabi Annual Publishing Forum was the vital step to furthering our efforts in improving the publishing industry and planning for its future, with a focus on nurturing and encouraging writers to write and explore creatively. It is also an integral step in positioning Abu Dhabi as a global hub for artistic and creative expression. While we have a higher focus on the local publishing industry this year, we are absolutely focused on issues facing the industry in the GCC. As the Forum introduces sessions annually we look to addressing and discussing the industry on a regional and international level. Our aim is to also introduce workshops and sessions that aid writers in thinking and writing creatively, especially for kids."

Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), spoke about the importance of the Forum and its potential for exploring the future of publishing and the sharing of tools that stimulate creativity and the search for knowledge, as well as the nuances and the mechanisms of the book industry. "We recognise the great challenges that the writer faces, from inspiration to a solid idea, then the process of writing. As well as the challenges in publishing their work. There is an urgent need for support across all aspects of literary creation and a cohesive structure is needed between writer, publisher, and recipient. We have seen strong leadership in the Year of Reading in 2016 with the National Strategy for Reading that sought to enrich the cultural vision of the capital. In 2015, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation launched Riwaq Al Adab wal Kitab in collaboration with the Emirates Writer’s Union to support the publishing industry, preserve national culture, and to celebrate Arabic literature."

The Forum’s first day also held a public workshop led by Emirati novelist Ali Abu Al-Reesh entitled The Development of Publishing and its reflection on the Emirati society. The workshop centred on enquires on writing and the Emirati status quo, the role of writers and books as a project of communication with the other.

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