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Annual initiative to boost Arabic content on internet


Arabic Web Days, developed by Google, Vinelab and Wamda, returns for the second year.

November 20, 2013 11:57 by

Google has announced the return of Arabic Web Days, an annual initiative created to boost the amount of Arabic content on the internet.

The initiative, which was developed by Google, Vinelab and Wamda last year, works to raise awareness and bridge the gap between the number of Arabic speakers online and the percentage of Arabic content on the web.

The effort is conducted in association with several regional and international partners, as well as a variety of online and offline activities, and events throughout the Mena region.

This year’s initiative expands on the belief – ‘It’s Better in Arabic’. Despite Arabic being a widely spoken language, it remains fairly unrepresented on the web, making up an estimated three per cent of all online content.

Arabic Web Days also aims to spark ecosystems of partners, and engage users and Arabic speakers worldwide to actively take part in enriching and boosting the amount of Arabic content online – by creating it.

Maha Aboueleinein, Google’s head of communications for the Mena region, says that the purpose of the initiative is to inspire the global Arabic-speaking community to increase the amount of Arabic content online, adding that the Arab world has enormous talent when it comes to creating content.

“We’re hosting two major events in Saudi Arabia this year, something we didn’t do last year,” Aboueleinein tells Kipprepport. “Saudi is a large market of Arabic speakers and YouTube watchers, so it’s really exciting for us.”

She says that the main challenges facing the company is figuring out how to make sure that Arabic content stays relevant, how people can be inspired to create content, so that the Arabic-speaking consumer is served, and how to help users understand how they can leverage the web to their benefit.

“The more people come online, the more that percentage (three per cent of Arabic content) is diluted,” she says.

The month-long series, between November 17 to December 18, will utilise a number of online and offline events that aim to engage users to join the movement to accelerate digital Arabic content creation in the Mena region.

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