Shortly after the Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation publishing project came to an end, another Anglo-Arabic publishing project was announced — Kalimat Quarto:
Quarto, a UK-based powerhouse founded in 1976 that publishes mainly illustrated titles, co-announced the partnership with the relatively young Sharjah, UAE-based Kalimat, which publishes Arabic titles for young people, at this year’s London Book Fair.
According to a report in the Khaleej Times, imprints from around Quarto’s publishing businesses will supply titles to the joint venture that will publish and distribute them throughout the Middle East and North Africa from early 2017.
A news release stated:
The new joint venture will publish under the Kalimat Quarto imprint starting in cookery, a new category of publishing for Kalimat Group. Other categories, including children’s books, are envisaged as the co-operation grows.
The Bookseller reported that a “spokesperson for the new imprint said the two publishers saw great scope for developing the market for illustrated non-fiction in the Arabic-speaking world— the category is currently dominated by English-language imports.”
In the prepared release, Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, said:
This partnership represents an exciting opportunity for Kalimat Group to expand its offerings in a new segment of publishing. Kalimat Group has led the illustrated book field in other categories with its offerings, garnering a number of prestigious international awards. We are delighted to be able to bring the group’s talents in narrative illustration to a new line in book publishing and intend to build upon our incipient relationship with Quarto to take our organisation to new heights.
In an interview with Publishing Perspectives, Al Qasimi said:
We went to their stand in Frankfurt and spent a couple of hours going through their books. And we thought, ‘What could we add in Kalimat that would supplement our list? Something that we don’t have.
And it’s cookbooks. They have amazing illustrated books. So we’re going to be launching cookbooks with them.
Other Anglo-Arab publishing ventures include Shorouk-Penguin, a partnership between Penguin Random and the Egyptian Dar al Shorouk, and the successful Paris-Beirut partnership Hachette Antoine.