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.

Related sustainable development goals

  • Quality Education
  • Reduced Inequalities

Focus areas

Focus sectors

  • Communications
    • Libraries
  • Education
  • Human rights

Focus populations

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

Focus geographies

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


  • 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.
  • 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.


Funding model

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

Primary funders

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


Board members

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