Richard co-founded Literary Sapiens in 2015 to make their extensive publishing industry network a platform for excellent story writers initially in the Middle East a chance to be published. As a sister company to IPS ME Ltd, the literary agency has grown to provide opportunities for authors, illustrators and publishers.
Attending Sherborne Public School, Richard’s background is a graduate Industrial Chemist from London University and a Music scholar from the London Guildhall school of music who, after graduation, travelled the world employed by several multinational corporations to manage their overseas interests. Finally landing in Dubai in 1999, his interest in books – especially non-fiction and poetry grew so, when a chance to become directly involved in publishing arose, the opportunity was quickly taken up.
Sports plays a major role in Richard’s life. A keen Rugby player and skier however, as time waits for no one, the hard physical games has been replaced by the more sedate cycling, golf and yoga!
The idea for Literary Sapiens is also to build a bridge between cultures through the power of writing. A well written book is a good read in any language. Transporting stories from other walks of life for others to read can only help bring greater understanding between peoples. Richard’s preference is the non-fiction genre (as poetry is always difficult to translate and deliver justice to the poet) and he is always on the look out for well researched and well written manuscripts be they from science, politics, history or general cultural backgrounds.
There are many great titles and authors that should be given an international voice, and we intend to find them.
At first glance, Ali’s professional road may seem full of not-so-relevant experiences, from law practice to content creation, writing screenplays and scripts, managing research projects, marketing, translating books, sales, and entrepreneurship.
But if you just connect the dots, you can see an ambitious picture: Creating value while bringing the people of the world closer together and building a better world.
Ali was always eager about reaching out to people and expanding the amplitude of his work, whatever he was doing. That characteristic in combination with his experiences with prestigious companies that were representing world-class publishers like Elsevier and Springer in the MENA region, made him realize his passion for continuing his education in international trade management.
Very soon, with the help of two friends, he launched a literary agency in the heart of the Middle East to represent the unheard sound of artists and authors of that part of the world. In less than two years, he and his friends made something from scratch that no agencies could have reached in the region in about a decade. But he was well aware of the fact that if you want to reach out to new people, you need new ideas and refilled resources on your hand. That’s when he decided to join the Literary Sapiens to pursue his passion.
Right now, making Sapiens the heart of Copyrights in the MENA region to help more stories be shared and heard is Ali’s new project, and he is so hyped about it.
While working as the managing director, Ali also works as the literary agent of Qatar.
Arab World Area Manager
Ahmad, who studied industrial design, was supposed to become an artist, but he ended up in the world of books and has been working in the book ecosystem for more than ten years. He is the one who, reading a good book, wants to introduce it to the first person he knows and presents the book in such a way that his audience would be convinced that it is a “must-read” book. It was such a spirit and emotion that led him to work professionally in book advertising and marketing.
He designed several successful book campaigns that broke the record for the most book publishing and distribution in Iran. He also manages promotional collections for books such as Shirazeh. It is not surprising that one of the first cinematic teaser of the book in region has been registered in his name.
But his national achievements did not satisfy him. He always wanted to introduce good books to more audiences. It was then that he turned to the international arena, and participating in exhibitions in Frankfurt, Bologna, and Russia made him an experienced expert. Ahmad has been concerned about children and adolescents in recent years. And as always, he wants to introduce worthy books to professional readers.
To put it in a word Ayat’s profession is “Content Production.” Much of this has been in the book industry. Though not limited to books and even to text. He entered the field of books about 12 years ago and has worked specifically on content for all these years. For three years, he reviewed newly published content and decided on the best ones for libraries. This unique experience made him extraordinary expertise for reviewing and analyzing content. He can distinguish good content from the bad, and you can count on him for content analysis, whatever it is.
Ayat didn’t limit his activity to reviewing the books. He entered the production field and worked for five years at two private content production firms. In these five years, he worked as a content designer, content production manager, and writer. In the past two years, he has focused more on content marketing, and he is working as the business development consultant in “Esm” publications.
Ayat is the co-founder and content director of our agency.
Her friends characterize her as a calm down-to-earth person who can find friends almost everywhere. She has a great passion for connecting with people and hear their stories.
While she may seem quiet, she keeps going and digging hard to achieve her goal. There is no “No” in her dictionary, and there is no “putting the bar low” in her approach.
Her favorite sport is hiking, and this seems to show enough of her hard-working and unyielding spirit.
Paniz has always been fascinated by linguistics, and she felt so fulfilled with learning new languages, maybe because it opened new doors to communicate with more and more people. Therefore she decided to study English Literature at university. After graduation, Paniz joined IPS ME Ltd as an academic representative. Her years at IPS brought her invaluable experiences in the Arabic publishing market and expanded her connections with all kinds of people both from the industry, government, and literary enthusiasts.
All these insights and experiences led her to join a newly established literary agency in the region as an agent. After two years of hard and impactful work, she decided to continue her work in Sapiens, where she believed can bring even more value into the market.
Being an agent is a combination of knowledge and passion for what you do, and Paniz has them both. We’re happy that she brought all these to Sapiens with herself.
Paniz’s focus areas as an agent include the US, UK, UAE, and Lebanon.
Zahra was curious, so she asked many questions when she started to use words, just like all children! But now, she is still a child. She wonders about everything, and she always discovers a new aspect of a thing. She always says: “Any molecule is a cue to know about the cosmic origin.”
Zahra is fond of science. She studied maths-physics at high school because she loved cosmology. Her first dream was to be an astronaut! She started writing stories at seven. During school, she won several literary prizes.
Starting learning English professionally besides high school lessons, she decided to study English translation at university. At university, she was chairperson of the literary association.
Zahra translated a book at twenty. She has published more than ten translated books of writers such as Lafcadio Hearn, Banana Yoshimoto, Natsume Soseki, William s Burroughs, Jo Nesbø, and Alice Munro. She loves reading books, watching anime, and painting. She is also an amateur astronomer.
Zahra started her work as a literary agent at Literary Sapiens in July 2021. Soon, with the help of Sapiens seniors, she found out this job is what she needed to represent her potentials and abilities because she is curious to know people from all over the world. Also, Zahra loves to share what she knows with others. Zahra is interested in linguistics, philosophy, and myths, recollected these three in the Tower of Babylon!
Zahra is a literary agent at the Literary Sapiens Agency.
From drawing to painting to calligraphy, Zohreh has always been fascinated by Persian art and culture. That is why she decided to pursue a degree in traditional Persian painting and calligraphy.
Although there are many artists like her in Iran with their unique talents and styles, there is no solid legal infrastructure for artists’ rights to be preserved and defended. That is why Zohreh joined the Literary Sapiens agency as an illustration agent to represent the many outstanding illustrators. She considers being an illustration agent a way to meet with like-minded professionals who enjoy making exceptional art.
Zohreh is very hard-working, accurate, and professional. She completely mastered the various styles and methods of illustration and painting, and in a short time, she was able to memorize all the works of the artists whose agents she was.
Her hobbies include swimming, drawing, and playing the kamancheh. She also enjoys taking long walks with friends along forest paths or around lakes.
Zohreh is the illustration agent of the Literary Sapiens Agency.