SHARJAH, 5th April, 2016 (WAM) — In a groundbreaking achievement for an Emirati publishing house, Kalimat Publishing House, a subsidiary of Kalimat Publishing Group, won the Bologna Best Children’s Publisher of the Year Prize – BOP – Asia 2016.

More than 500 publishers, authors and illustrators of children’s books from around the world were present at the award ceremony, which took place yesterday (Monday) in Bologna, Italy.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, received the prestigious award on behalf of the group, which was won after competing with 4 international publishing houses from Singapore and Japan.

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi also received the Bologna Ragazzi Award for ‘Lisanak Hisanak’ (‘Tongue Twisters’), which is authored by Fatima Sharafeddine and illustrated by Hanane Kai. The title won in the ‘New Horizons’ category, which is designated for the best text and illustrations in children’s books, after impressing the judges with its creative narrative and engaging artwork.

Speaking about the Best Children’s Publisher of the Year Award, Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi said, “Today, Kalimat Group succeeded in adding yet another achievement to its long list of successes by winning the Best Children’s Publisher of the Year award against strong competition from hundreds of publishing houses across the world. Its success makes Kalimat the first Emirati publisher to receive this renowned global children’s publishing industry award.”

Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi added, “Ensuring children’s pleasure when they are reading is the main driving force behind Kalimat Group’s strategy to publish high quality books that fire their intellect and imagination. We are committed to providing outstanding content that allows Arab children to read in their mother tongue, as this is crucial to strengthening their Arab identity.”

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi continued, “Today, Kalimat Group is being awarded for its relentless efforts to develop Arabic children’s books, to capture the attention of young Arab audiences, to ignite their passion for life and to give them a greater opportunity to experience the pleasure of reading. I would like to dedicate this achievement to our leadership for paving the way for us to reach the highest level. We also dedicate it to the Emirati community, in particular its youngest members.”

Established in 2007, Kalimat is the first publishing house in the UAE dedicated solely to publishing and distributing high quality Arabic children’s books. With a portfolio of internationally-acclaimed and award-winning authors and illustrators, Kalimat produces an extensive range of books with topics featuring traditional Arabic culture and heritage, many of which focus on the challenges faced by today’s children.

Kalimat encourages publishers, authors and illustrators to give their all in order to be the best and in doing so has succeeded in publishing 175 books, many of which are translated into foreign languages.