Kalimat Foundation

Kalimat Foundation is a nonprofit founded by Bodour Al Qasimi, a member of Sharjah's ruling family, and the CEO of Kalimat Publishing Group. The foundation, which began operations in 2016, was launched to uphold children’s rights to access books, in particular those from the Middle East region, who are victims of war and forced displacement, and those who are visually disabled. The foundation also uses books to preserve Arabic customs and heritage. To date, Kalimat Foundation has provided books to more than 155,000 children across 28 countries.

Focus areas

Focus sectors

  • Education
  • Information and communications
    • Libraries
  • Human rights

Focus populations

  • Victims of crime and abuse
  • Victims of disaster
  • Victims of conflict and war

Focus geographies

  • Europe
    • France
    • Germany
    • United Kingdom
    • Italy
    • Greece
    • Sweden
  • Americas
    • Brazil
  • Africa
    • Kenya
  • North Africa
    • Egypt
    • Tunisia
  • Middle East
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Kuwait
    • Lebanon
    • Jordan
    • Palestine
  • East Asia
    • Hong Kong


  • Pledge a Library
    This initiative delivers book collections, in the format of compact libraries each containing 100 Arabic language books, to young children and youth separated from their homelands. The idea is to sustain connection and cultural roots, support literacy, and ease young people's integration into new settings and societies. Pledge a Library has donated to refugee camps, community centres, schools and universities, institutes, public libraries, hospitals and NGOs across various countries including Jordan, Lebanon, France, Tunisia, Kenya Greece, Hong Kong, and more.
  • Ara Initiative
    Through this programme, the foundation identifies communities of blind and visually impaired children, and supports the delivery and availability of books in accessible formats. Ara has supported the production of 30,000 accessible books to be distributed, locally, regionally and internationally. The initiative also works to raise public awareness on visually disabled children in communities across the Middle East, North and East Africa, to support integration. Kalimat Foundation dedicates considerable resources for the development of baselines, benchmarks and case studies to aid policymaking, in the local, regional and international context.


Funding model

  • Private
  • Fundraising

Primary funders

  • Bodour Al Qasimi
  • University of Sharjah
  • FAST Building Contracting
  • GEMS Education
  • The Big Heart Foundation
  • Sharjah National Oil Corporation
  • Emirates Islamic Bank
  • Sharjah City International
  • 1001 Titles
  • The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY)
  • Knowledge without borders
  • Mega Mall
  • Sharjah Book Authority
  • Toys R Us
  • Sharjah Airport
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Types of funding and awards

  • In-kind gifts
    • Donated goods
  • Programme related investment
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Board members

  • Founder and Chairperson, Bodour Al Qasimi
  • Vice Chairperson, Sheikha Jameela Al Qasimi
  • Secretary General, Isobe Abulhoul
  • Treasurer, Majid Jafar
  • Member, Lana Nusseibeh
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