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Abu Dhabi Media Summit: How to get Arabic content online

At today’s Abu Dhabi Media Summit session, Sami Mustafa Mubarak and Mina Nagy Takla, the co-founders of Taghreedat, illustrated their revolutionary plans for putting Arab content front and central on the internet.

At present, it is estimated that only 3% of the total content on the internet is in Arabic. However, there are now moves to transform the Arab digital landscape - and, in particular, to move away from the dependency on English language and to translate social media terms into Arabic for the very first time.

The Taghreedat founders have struck a number of strategic alliances to ensure that Arabic content is enriched. Their high-profile partners include Twitter, the Wikimedia Foundation, Storify and TED.

“With these four international partnerships, we are trying to drive the cause of Arab digital content internationally and not just upgrade the region.”

The aim now is to promote a new era “of social entrepreneurship” Internet users will generate content as well as consume it. “They will get to build a true Arabic web, brick by brick, piece by piece and they way they want it.”

Mubarak and Takla revealed a raft of new projects that will ensure Arab digital content is far more readily available.  One key goal is to ensure that far more content is translated into Arabic.

Here at the Summit, they announced a new partnership with Meedan to promote Arab education and culture on the web.

At present, Arabic is the 23rd language on Wikipedia in terms of the number of articles available. That is already four places higher than it was when Taghreedat started its collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation. The aim now is to improve that ranking yet further.

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