IPA Outlines a First Middle East Regional Seminar in Amman

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In a first-time focus on the Middle East’s publishing industry, the International Publishers Association is planning a regional event in the Jordanian capital.

An aerial view of Amman. Image – iStockphoto: Antoine Ede

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Industry Issues and Scalable Solutions’
Following its second Africa Seminar in Nairobi in June, the International Publishers Association (IPA) will broaden its program of regional conference programming with a first-time event for Middle East publishers in Amman.

At this point, the programming, set for September 30 and October 1, is devised to provide a reconsideration of the publishing industry in the region and to develop a better understanding of the importance of reading in historical development.

Created with the patronage and active engagement of Jordan’s Queen Raina Al Abdullah, the event is being devised for publishing industry leaders, policy makers, investors, and those in active publishing work in the region–those interested, in other words, in evaluating the book business’ biggest challenges and potential responses in the area.

The programming comprises workshops and at least 10 panels looking at–according to the organizers’ messaging—” how reading can contribute to socio-economic development; pressing publishing industry issues and scalable solutions; analysis of education and literacy; the use of reading as a humanitarian response and therapy; and the rise of the digital era and the importance it plays for the future of the region.

Panels, Briefly Listed

As with the African conference program’s development, the Amman event’s elements are, to some degree, focused early on, on issues around education and literacy. They soon widen, however, to embrace the question of the Arabic world’s need to build and amplify its voice as a vehicle to outreach into the wider markets of publishing and other industries in world affairs.

As is always the case, both copyright and the freedom to publish are prime pillars of the IPA’s stance in world publishing, with a membership comprising some 81 organizations from 69 countries. All told, the IPA’s markets hold more than 5.6 billion people, and one of the most compelling elements of the association’s work is how reliably critical the themes of copyright protection and challenges to free expression and publication are in play.

On the first day, September 30, initial planning outlines call for presentations and discussions with the following titles:

  • Digital Disruption: Solving the Arab World’s Book Distribution and Retail Challenges with Technology
  • The Role of the Publishing Industry in Humanitarian Response and Refugee Resettlement
  • Literacy and Book Accessibility in Conflict
  • The Role of Technology in Overcoming Illiteracy and Promoting a Reading Culture
  • Digital Publishing and the Arab Classroom of the Future

And on the second day, October 1, here are titles currently positioned on the conference plans:

  • Building a Creative Nation: Developing the Next Generation of Publishers, Writers, and Artists
  • Bringing the Voice of Arab Writers, Publishers, and Content Creators to the World
  • The Future of Arab Libraries: Transforming Libraries from Print to Digital
  • Freedom to Publish and New Media
  • Towards an Arab Digital Single Market: Does the Arab World Need its Own Copyright Directive?

Delegates to the Amman program will also be offered an option of a third day of cultural excursions featuring options of seeing the Dead Sea, Jerash, Ajloun, or Petra.

While plans at this point are preliminary, with speaker announcements yet to come, the initial curriculum of the program can be found in a PDF here.

And registration details are available here.

Publishing Perspectives will be developing further coverage of the event’s outlook in coming days.

At Petra in Jordan. Image – iStockphoto: Pocholo Calapre


More from Publishing Perspectives on the International Publishers Association is here, more from us on its ‘Africa Rising’ Nairobi seminar is here, and more from us on the Arabic world is here.

Our special magazine for the International Publishers Association’s (IPA) “Rising Africa” 2019 seminar was printed by Modern Lithographic Kenya and was provided in print to delegates as the conference convened on June 14 and 15 in Nairobi.

We hope you’ll download a free copy here in PDF. You’ll find commentary from the IPA leadership, from key stakeholders in the 2018 seminar at Lagos produced with the Nigerian Publishers Association, and from our hosts at this year’s event produced in cooperation with the Kenya Publishers Association. 

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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