Qatar Foundation, in collaboration with Bloomsbury Publishing, will establish a new publishing house for English and Arabic books in the Middle East.
To be named Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, the publishing house will be based in Doha and will print books both in English and Arabic. It will focus on books of excellence and originality in six main areas: fiction and non-fiction for adults and children, educational books for schools, academic books for universities and researchers, classics of Arabic literature, and reference books. The books will be distributed around the world through Bloomsbury's distribution network.
The venture will encourage the enjoyment of reading and promote a literary culture through a wide-ranging series of events and other initiatives.
In order to stimulate and cultivate new literary talent in Qatar and the Middle East, creative writing skills will be taught in association with leading educational institutes worldwide. The partnership also aims to improve standards of translation into and out of Arabic.
Bloomsbury will also establish knowledge-transfer of publishing skills to Qatar, including a mentoring programme and the training of Qatari interns each year in London and Doha.
This agreement extends Bloomsbury's current cooperation with Qatar, following the announcement last year of Qatar Finance — The Ultimate Resource, a comprehensive print and online information resource for finance professionals, in partnership with the Qatar Financial Centre Authority. This will be launched in October 2009.
Nigel Newton, Founder and Chief Executive of Bloomsbury, will be Chairman of the Management Committee of Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing. Kathy Rooney, currently Joint Managing Director of Bloomsbury's German subsidiary, Berlin Verlag, will have primary responsibility for the new venture. A managing director and publishing director will be recruited to work in Doha.
"We are delighted to announce this partnership with Qatar Foundation. Our aim is not simply to publish in the region, but also internationally, to identify and nurture literary talent and to help bring new skills and knowledge to Qatar. We also want to work in partnership with other publishers in the region. This is an exciting project for both parties," said Nigel Newton.
Commenting on the partnership, Rashid Al Naimi, Vice President, Administration, Qatar Foundation said: "Qatar Foundation is pleased to be leading this important literary drive. Literature is a vital tool that stimulates the intellect, cultivates knowledge and inspires creativity. The creation of a reading, literary culture is part of Qatar's vision of a dynamic knowledge society with diverse and competitive global talents that we can export to the world."
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