Dialogue with publisher (Ghassan Rabie)
Guest: Ghassan Rabie, Rabie Publishing House GM
Rabie for Publishing and Distribution is a remarkable Syrian house. It has been a member of ACBPF since 2009. We are glad to welcome its GM, Mr. Ghassan Rabie in this interview:
- Would please tell us about the establishment of Rabie Publishing House?
Established in 1950, Rabie Publishing House was interested in Arab originality and human values. However, in 1983 it specialized in publishing children’s books and adopted “Our children's education is the priority” as its mission statement.
- What are you most distinguished achievements?
Rabie Pub is considered among the first Arab publishers who specialized in Children’s books and laid the foundations for the children’s books industry. The house was awarded many prizes including but not limited to Best Book from The Arab League Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) in 1991 in Tunisia. In addition, we received awards from Sharjah International Book Fair in 2000, Lebanese Publishers Union in 2001, and Jordanian Publishers Union in 2004.
- Why do you produce books and educational entertaining games? Frankly, which products sell better, and why?
International well-established studies verify the importance of learning through playing for children aged between (1 - 8) years. Therefore, we cooperated with specialized global companies to produce edutainment games to make learning Arabic interesting and unconventional for children. We have created a special bond between paper books and edutainment games increasing selling factors for both. In fact, parents or caregivers are more inclined to buy paper books when they are accompanied with edutainment games.
- Would please tell us about your participations in Arab book fairs? Have you faced any hardships during them?
We have always participated in Arab book fairs receiving many certificates of appreciation and honorable mentions along the years. We hardly face any hardships due to the support from fairs organizers and the ministries of education especially in the Arab Gulf Region.
- How should publishers handle piracy?
On one hand, paper books piracy is the hardest to face by publishers unless appropriate authorities enforce property protection policies. Nonetheless, counterfeit books have extremely bad quality, which makes it easy for readers to distinguish them from the original versions.
On the other hand, e-books piracy could easily be ended by utilizing modern e-publishing techniques and adopting modern safeguarding and encryption methods.
- What are your upcoming projects?
We are focusing our efforts toward specific projects aimed at endorsing and promoting Arabic among children through unconventional visual and audio products in addition to edutainment games. Moreover, we are currently cooperating with a British publishing house to revolutionize paper and electronic publishing in the Arab world.
- Rabie Pub has been with ACBPF since its beginning in 2009. Are you satisfied by its achievements? What are your aspirations for ACBPF?
Of course, we are satisfied and grateful for your efforts. ACBPF plays a key role in the world of Arab publishing. We hope that ACBPF succeeds to create a common market for Arab publishers to upgrade the publishing industry and children’s culture. We are after all the nation of “Iqra’” [the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad, which means read].