Monday, 21 June 2010

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«مبارك.مصر» : the first non-Latin web address launched by Mubarak in Maadi

  • Monday, 21 June 2010
  • Fouad GM
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  • Yes, as patronising as it sounds: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak kicks starts a new phase in the digital revolution.

    On 23 May 2010, I blogged questioning whether the cyberspace is a space for the marginalised voices or not. Back then, The Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology had announced that it'll launch the first-ever website to register a domain web address in non-Latin characters (i.e. Arabic) and is to replace the internet country code (.eg) with its Arabic equivalent (مصر.).

    Now bear with me because this does cause confusion: a non-Latin website is one thing, and a non-Latin web address or web domain is another.

    But yesterday, and on the sidelines of inaugurating the first phase of the Cairo Contact Center Part (IT Industrial Zone) in Maadi,
    President Mubarak announced the launch of his new website, «مبارك.مصر» which has become the first non-Latin web address. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Nazif and Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr. Tarek Kamel.


    The idea of de-Romanising the internet gained momentum almost a decade with the ascend of non-Latin world languages - especially those using the Arabic and Chinese scripts.

    Paradoxically, the Arabisation of the internet and the blogosphere emerged as a civil society initiative to allow more access to non-English users and give voice to the otherwise-marginalised voices in remote parts of the Arab world or the indeed in the less educated classes. Examples of such initiatives included the launch of
    katib.org which was the first non-Latin equivalent to blogspot.com and blogger.com offering Arab bloggers with little or no English access to the blogosphere.

    Nevertheless, yesterday, the first-even non-Latin web address was inaugurated by the President of Egypt, a country where the state's commitment to freedom of expression and the free flow of information is very much under question.

    1 Responses to “«مبارك.مصر» : the first non-Latin web address launched by Mubarak in Maadi”

    Minotaur said...
    21 June 2010 at 12:57

    He "kicks starts"!! A truly brilliant Freudian slip!


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