PublisHer’s second quarterly bulletin began hitting inboxes this past week. The entire email is of course worthy of our full attention, but here just to pluck some key highlights from the three months covered.
Per reportage here at TNPS, in October Publisher launched its new website:
As well as info about PublisHer and our supporters, this is where you’ll find out about events and initiatives, think-pieces and blogs, social media, photo galleries, and details about attending, supporting, sponsoring and hosting a PublisHer event. Through 2020, we’ll also post bite-sized conversations with women in the PublisHer community, so if you’re willing to be featured, we’d love to hear from you.
Next the newsletter reports on the PublisHer Amman dinner in September, at the International Publishers Association (IPA) regional seminar for the Middle East and North Africa.
The dinner was sponsored by the translation agency Tarjama, founded in 2008 by Nour Al Hassan started the company in 2008 and that taps into,
a large, underused pool of smart, qualified women translators by letting them work from home. Today, Tarjama’s workforce of more than 200 staff and 17,000 freelancers is still close to 90% female.
The panelists, exploring the topic Overcoming Publishing’s Global Diversity Problem, were:
Taghreed Najjar (Jordan) – Founder and Director, Al Salwa Publishers
Eman Hylooz (Jordan) – Founder and CEO, Abjjad
Dr Inaam Kachachi (Iraq) – Author and journalist, Asharq Al Awsat daily newspaper
In October PublisHer was at Frankfurt, at an event sponsored by Kalimat Group and Copyright Clearance Center, with the topic How do we smash through the glass ceiling?
November of course was the Sharjah International Book Fair, and the home of PublisHer founder Bodour Al-Qasimi, so unsurprisingly it was a special occasion for PublisHer.
We (upgraded) our PublisHer dinner to a three-panel mini-conference. Our keynote was the extraordinary US Olympic fencer and children’s author Ibtihaj Muhammad. As she spoke of her journey through top-flight athletics, she commended the bookwomen present for ‘making sure our young girls see themselves in this space, know there is opportunity for them, and no limitation … to be agents of change in this world’.
At Sharjah discussions were wide and constructive:
1: Women of the Emirates Publishers Association: Leading from the Frontlines
Moderated by Iman Ben Chaibah (UAE), Founder and CEO, Sail Publishing, our guest speakers related their career paths and their roles as leaders, mentors, and change agents seeking a more equal publishing ecosystem in the UAE.
Dr. Alyazia Khalifa Al Suwaidi (UAE) – Founder, Director, AlFulk Translation & Publishing
Salha Obaid Ghabish (UAE) – Author; Owner, Sadiqat Publishing and Distribution Books
Dubai Abulhoul Alfalasi (UAE) – Author
2: Women in Literature: Authors and Publishers from the Arab World
This panel explored how Arab women are recasting their place in society, the tensions and opportunities and how to shape the discourse through literature and publishing. Our moderator was Dr. Fatma Elboudy (Egypt), owner of Elain Publishing House.
Ahlam Mosteghanemi (Algeria) – Poet and author
Leila Aboulela (Sudan) – Author
Omaima Al Khamis (KSA) – Writer
Inaam Kachachi (Iraq) – Author
3: International Women in Publishing
Today’s world presents women with new realities linked to tech and social change. Steered by Ahlam Bolooki (UAE), Director, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, this talk probed how these changes have shaped the lives of female publishers, writers, and creatives around the world.
Jessica Jarlvi (Sweden) – Author
Elisabetta Dami (Italy) – Children’s author
Upile Chisala (Malawi) – Writer, poet, storyteller
For 2020 PublisHer already has two events lined up.
First, PublisHer will be at the London Book Fair in March.
PublisHer is ending this year with the PublisHer 2019 Community Survey.
The PublisHer community was set up to seek ways to address the gender disparities found in women’s daily working lives and over their careers in or with the publishing industry. A clearer picture of how these imbalances manifest themselves will help us identify the right strategies to address them.
The results will be announced at the PublisHer first anniversary half-day summit for,
around 200 women who work in or close to the publishing industry. An opening keynote will precede three moderated discussions celebrating inspirational women who have generated positive change in world publishing. Titled ‘Pathbreakers’, ‘Pioneers’ and ‘Trailblazers’, these conversations will lay bare the wisdom, views and experiences of three speakers per panel.
And PublisHer will be at Bologna at the end of March with full details yet to be announced, but with a focus on gender and diversity in children’s publishing.
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View the full Alpha email and all the great images here.