The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) has announced the launch of a new project titled ‘Meet the Emirati Publishers’, which aims to expand the global reach of EPA publishers and support the translation of Arabic books into various languages.

Making the announcement at its 4th board meeting held recently at EPA offices in Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone, EPA officials explained that the strategic objectives would be achieved by providing opportunities to its members to participate in professional programmes routinely held at international book fairs. In addition, it would also help publishers take advantage of the currently available translation grants to facilitate the purchase of foreign and translation rights.

Ali Bin Hatem, President of EPA, said: "Through the launch of ‘Meet the Emirati Publishers’, EPA seeks to encourage the translation of Arabic books into various foreign languages which will not only contribute to world literature but also shine a light on the rich Arab culture. We will achieve these goals by supporting the participation of our publishers in seminars, panel discussions and presentations and other communications platforms at international book fairs.”

Bin Hatem added: “EPA will also assist its publisher members by facilitating networking with their counterparts in other countries to seek opportunities for translation projects, utilising the available translation grants. EPA will select four publishers to participate in any given event, based on their interest in a specific foreign language and how effectively they pitch their ideas at EPA’s matchmaking events.”

According to the project plan, EPA will provide the selected publishers with a free guaranteed space or stand at the participating book fairs and contact numbers of the entities they are likely to meet during the matchmaking events. Apart from the opportunity to participate in panel discussions and cultural activities in collaboration with the foreign book fairs, EPA will also provide its members with a catalogue of publishing and translation rights of the publishers they are meeting with.

Other services provided by EPA include the creation of a platform where publisher members can schedule meetings and appointments.

Following the conclusion of the book fair, participating publishers must submit proof of at least two agreements signed during the visit, proof of attending the matchmaking events as well as a report on these meetings.

In line with the objectives of this project, EPA’s plan for the year 2020 includes its participation in some of the major book fairs taking place, including London, UK; Bologna, Italy; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Beijing, China; Frankfurt, Germany; and Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) was founded in 2009 by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi who has led the efforts to advance the publishing industry in the UAE. The organisation is dedicated to serving and developing the publishing sector and advancing the role of Emirati publishers through training and mentorship programmes. EPA represents the interests of professionals in the UAE’s publishing industry by working on advancing their rights and has a remit to improve the conditions of the profession and its related laws in coordination with concerned authorities locally and internationally.

Source: National Network Communications (NNC)