Arab world

Declaration on Media and Information Literacy adopted by Fez International Forum

Title: Declaration on Media and Information Literacy adopted by Fez International Forum
Source: UNESCO
Date (published): 01/07/2011
Date (accessed): 21/09/2011
Type of information: political document
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"The First International Forum on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) was organized through partnership among UNESCO, the Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University (Morocco), the Islamic Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), the Arab Bureau of Education for the Golf States (ABEGS) and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and other partners. It was held from 15 to 17 June 2011 in Fez, Morocco, under the auspices of His Majesty King Mohammed the Sixth.
This Forum was the first of its kind at the international level to examine media and information literacy as a combined set of competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes). Issues relating to importance of media, Internet and other information providers and their impact on learning, cultures and public opinion, as well as the empowering effect of MIL practices and global Internet governance were among the main topics discussed at the Forum.

Over 200 participants representing all regions of the world, including educators, information and media experts, civil society actors and social scientists, gathered to discuss MIL and share experience and knowledge. In the Fez Declaration, the participants of the Forum “fully endorse the far-reaching vision that today’s digital age and convergence of communication technologies necessitate the combination of media literacy and information literacy in order to achieve sustainable human development, build participatory civic societies, and contribute to the consolidation of sustainable world peace, freedom, democracy, good governance and the fostering of constructive intercultural knowledge, dialogue and mutual understanding”. They call on all stakeholders to reaffirm their commitment to initiatives relating to MIL."

Download the Declaration (pdf)


The push for Arabic content online

Title: The push for Arabic content online
Author Editor: Suzanne Locke
Date (published): 9-15/07/2011
Date (accessed): 15/07/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"Major web players are looking to boost Arabic-language content online in a bid to meet demand from a rapidly growing Arab audience

The Arab world has been facing a digital conundrum for the past few years – not enough users online creating content in Arabic; not enough content in Arabic to push internet penetration.

Although there are more than 344 million Arabic speakers worldwide and Arabic is the seventh-most popular language on the web, less than one per cent of all online content is in Arabic and there is just a 17.5 per cent internet penetration across the region’s population.

Yet Arabic is the fastest-growing language on the internet, with Arabic-speaking internet users increasing 2,298 per cent from 2000-2009, according to the Internet World Statistics Report.

According to the Arab Knowledge Report, a joint initiative of the UAE’s Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Foundation and the UN Development Programme for Arab States, a lack of content in Arabic has meant users have not felt the need for a high-speed broadband connection in their daily lives. There has been too much emphasis, it says, on hardware and not enough on creativity.
Google has been working on several initiatives to help increase Arabic-language content. It tied up with Wikipedia after observing the Arabic portal of the online encyclopaedia carried 120,000 pages compared with the 2 million pages of its Catalan equivalent. This is despite the disproportionate number of potential Arabic-speaking users, 344 million, compared with 6 million Catalan speakers.

About 10 million words have now been translated into Arabic from English on the site and 6 million from Arabic to English.

The search giant has also been educating small businesses to build their own websites using Google Sites – or to at least put their business directory information on Google Maps. It has built Ejabat, a user-generated question and answer system, which now has 600,000 questions and 2 million answers from 300,000 registered users.

With 20-25 per cent of Mena users in the past year being completely new to the web and a third of them under the age of 18, Google launched educational video site Ahlan to introduce users to the world of online learning. Within three months there were 1.2 million views of the Ahlan training videos.
“There is a regional need for real local content and generally users in the region prefer Arabic today,” Nassef says. “As has happened in the East and Latin America, as the internet goes to the masses, people want it in their native language. If you get beyond the metropoles – Cairo, Casablanca – people want Arabic content.”"

The Web (Barely) Speaks Arabic

Title: The Web (Barely) Speaks Arabic
Author: Mike Madison
Source: Forum One blog
Date (published): 14/07/2011
Date (accessed): 15/07/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"There are a number of reasons why English has become the world’s convener language. I’m less interested in exploring that at the moment and more interested in discussing a number of current efforts to localize the web and make it more multilingual. One such effort I came across recently is in Doha, at the Qatar Science & Technology Park, where a number of publications are being converted into a digital format from either the original Arabic, or after being translated from other languages. These digitization projects are a way of adding Arabic content to the web, and creating more high-value content that can be explored by users in their own language. Its part of the movement to make sure that the web’s content more closely mirrors the experience of speakers in the physical world, where the local language rightly has precedence."


Developing a Knowledge Management Strategy for the Arab World

Title: Developing a Knowledge Management Strategy for the Arab World
Authors: Walter Skok, Saad Tahir
Pages: 11 pp.
ISSN: 1681-4835
Source: The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, EJISDC (2010) 41, 7, 1-11
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Date (published): 07/05/2010
Date (accessed): 28/06/2010
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
The aim of this study is to investigate the issue of knowledge sharing and knowledge management (KM) in an Arab context, by identifying the main issues and obstacles which arise as a result of the Arab culture. By using field data from questionnaires given to staff in an Arab firm, the research shows that western based KM practices should be applied cautiously in a non-western setting. The research concluded that the most appropriate overall knowledge strategy to adopt is a hybrid strategy of ‘intellectual asset management’ i.e. where existing company assets are more fully exploited and ‘personal knowledge assert responsibility’ i.e. where individual employees are encouraged to develop and share their skills and knowledge. This blended approach will nurture a culture of knowledge sharing amongst staff, which is often difficult to achieve. The research also demonstrates how the biggest barriers to knowledge sharing in Arab organisations are the people themselves together with their social and cultural beliefs. These results will be useful within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and for other Arab governments and organisations (as well as multinationals who are looking to set up in an Arab country), when trying to formulate KM strategies. This research allows them to understand better the barriers that will prevent successful implementation of KM in an Arab setting. It also provides them with a series of recommendations to help overcome such obstacles, and thus seeks to find active solutions to ensure that the concepts of knowledge management and sharing are not lost in translation.

Towards Information Society - National e-Strategies in the Arab World

Title: Towards Information Society - National e-Strategies in the Arab World
Author: David Morgan
Date (published): 07/06/2010
Date (accessed): 17/06/2010
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
The report, National e-Strategies for Development Global Status and Perspectives 2010, highlights the varying stages of development in the adoption of ICT across the Arab World.

The report is published within the framework of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the WSIS’s Tunis phase and the adoption of the Tunis Agenda for Information Society.

Focusing on progress towards the achievement of an inclusive digital society, the report points out that while some Arab countries have already taken measures to facilitate the transformation of their societies others are just taking the initial steps or are still facing basic challenges posed by insufficient ICT infrastructure.

Nevertheless, almost all Arab countries or territories are fulfilling the WSIS recommendations concerning the formulation of ICT strategies, having either developed such a strategy or being ready to adopt existing drafts.

Arab Media Outlook 2009-2013: Inspiring Local Content

Title: Arab Media Outlook 2009-2013: Inspiring Local Content
Pages: 199 pp.
ISBN: 978-9948-15-422-8
Publisher: Dubai Press Club
Date (published): 10/02/2010
Date (accessed): 04/03/2010
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf, 5,7 MB)
Dubai Press Club is pleased to present the third edition of the Arab Media Outlook 2009-2013. Arab Media Outlook is one of the pioneering media development initiatives of Dubai Press Club along with Arab Media Forum and Arab Journalism Award. The objective behind the report is to not only bring out an assessment of the media scene in the region in its entirety, but also to help build a knowledge base on the media for the benefit of industry stakeholders, policy makers, media scholars, students and the general public.

The report this year is far more exhaustive in its scope and reach than the previous editions and is backed for the first time, by extensive market research in four significant media markets in the region, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon on shifting media consumption habits. We have expanded the coverage of the report to include 15 Arab countries, namely, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, the UAE and the Yemen.

The last edition of the report came out soon after the onset of the global financial crisis, leaving out little scope for incorporating a detailed analysis of its impact on the media industry. We have tried to more than compensate for that in the present edition, providing a much more focused assessment of the media industry against the backdrop of the financial meltdown. The impact of the crisis, needless to say, varies from country to country, depending on the extent to which each market is exposed to global markets. The country-wise assessment given in the report takes into account the specificities of each market covered.

UNESCO-supported e-learning association launched in Middle East

Title: UNESCO-supported e-learning association launched in Middle East
Source: UNESCO
Date (published): 24/02/2010
Date (accessed): 01/03/201
Type of information: press release
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
The Middle East e-Learning Association (MEEA), established for the purpose of providing innovative open educational practices, was launched on 1 February. MEEA is supported by UNESCO, together with several other international organizations...
MEEA has an ambitious vision of achieving several activities in the region which include:
* networking and information sharing,
* strategy and policy development,
* establishment of special interest group,
* design and professional development programmes,
* establishment of awards to recognize excellence in various practices of e-learning,
* research and dissemination of research outcomes through publishing reports, newsletters, articles in journals and profession magazines and other means.

Bringing e-Books to Africa and the Middle East. Infrastructure, economics and censorship are major issues

Title: Bringing e-Books to Africa and the Middle East. Infrastructure, economics and censorship are major issues
Author: James Turner
Source: O'Reilly Radar
Publisher: O'Reilly
Date (published): 19/01/2010
Date (accessed): 20/01/2010
Type of information: blog post and voice interview
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML and voice files)
In the United States, Western Europe and Asia, e-Books are becoming a major player, especially now that e-Readers like the Kindle and Nook are available. But people living in the Arabic-speaking world or Africa haven't been invited to the dance. Two of the keynote speakers at the upcoming Tools of Change conference are working to improve access to e-Books in these areas: Arthur Attwell in South Africa and Ramy Habeeb in Egypt. We talked to each of them about how e-Books are important in their area of the world, and the challenges that they are facing.


Arab Knowledge Report 2009: Towards Productive Intercommunication for Knowledge

Title: Arab Knowledge Report 2009: Towards Productive Intercommunication for Knowledge
Pages: 332 pp.
Publisher: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation and United Nations Development Programme/ Regional Bureau for Arab States
Date (published): 27/10/2009
Date (accessed): 18/11/2009
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (several pdfs)
Foreword, team and table of contents
Chapter 1: The theoretical framework: Concepts and problematic of the knowledge society
Chapter 2: Arab knowledge performance environments: Expanding freedoms and building institutions
Chapter 3: Education and the formation of knowledge capital
Chapter 4: Information and communications technologies in the Arab countries: The pillars and tools of knowledge
Chapter 5: Arab performance in research and innovation
Chapter 6: Building the knowledge society in the Arab world: A vision and a plan
Annex 1: List of background papers
Annex 2: Project for a database on knowledge in the Arab region
Annex 3: Measurement of the Arab countries’ knowledge economy
Statistical Annex

See also:
Arab world 'long way' from knowledge society
Science and Development Network

Typekit For Arabophones: Arabic Fonts When You Want Them

Title: Typekit For Arabophones: Arabic Fonts When You Want Them
Source: Appfrica
Date (published): 06/11/2009
Date (accessed): 06/11/2009
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
The lack of Arabic fonts available for Windows, Apple, and Linux systems has long frustrated arabophone web designers... Dubai baised CloudAppers things they have a solution in their new web service, Tiba3a.

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