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First Arabic Domain Name Service Launches In Egypt

The United Nations Internet Governance Forum, which is being hosted by Egypt at the Sharm el-Sheikh resort in Cairo, will see the launch of world’s first Arabic internet domain which has been developed by the country.

The Telecommunication Ministry of Egypt said that website owners will have the option of adding ‘.msr’ which means ‘.Egypt’ in the Arabic script instead of the traditional ‘.com’ or ‘.com.eg’.

According to the experts, 65% of the internet users in Egypt are not versed with the English language and this new development will make surfing the internet rather easy for them.

Recently, ICANN, the organisation which controls the internet laws, agreed to allow non-Latin domain names giving way to domains in Chinese, Korean and other scripts. The decision has been welcomed by many governments across the world where people are not familiar with English as this allows more of their citizens to access the internet.

It is important to note that the advocacy group, Reporters Without Borders, conveyed its feelings by criticising the decision of letting Egypt host such an important United Nations forum.

They said that the future of the internet is being decided in a country which has been known for its police harassment of internet bloggers.

Our Comments

Non English internet is set to boom as the number of foreign language speakers significantly goes up. This will also mark the end of the hegemony of Latin languages online with some very significant consequences.

Related Links

Egypt launches Arabic web domain

(BBC NEWS)

Egypt to apply for first Arabic domain name

(The Associated Press)

Internet Governance Forum kicks off in Egypt

(XINHUA NET)

Internet to speak Arabic: Egypt

(Google News)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.