Held under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, this was the first IPA Regional Seminar covered publishing in the Middle East and North Africa, and the first such gathering in the Arab world. It featured a high-profile line-up of speakers who analysed the challenges and opportunities of Arab publishing, bringing together veteran publishers and bold young entrepreneurs staking their industry’s future on technology.

This was a large, two-day, 10-panel conference that tackled a catalogue of issues, from digital disruption and technology’s role in the classroom of the future, to book accessibility in conflict settings and publishing’s role in humanitarian responses.

In his closing remarks, IPA President Hugo Setzer developed a point made by Lebanese author Joumana Haddad during her keynote speech, saying: ‘I wholeheartedly agree that there is no future for the Arab world without reading. But I would take it even further, and say that without reading there is no future for humanity.’