Egypt creates Arabic web domain

First non-Latin character domain name promises greater access for Arabic speakers.

    Other scripts such as Chinese will also become active after the decision to allow non-Latin characters [AFP]

    "It is a great moment for us," he said, at a UN-sponsored event that hosted attendees such as Jerry Yang and Tim Berners-Lee, from Yahoo, and known as doyens of the internet.

    Multiple domain languages

    The change comes after the US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an internet oversight agency, decided last month to end the exclusive use of Latin characters for website addresses.

    Now Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Korean and several other scripts will be allowed as well.

    "Good and democratic internet governance is a means of achieving development for all"

    Sha Zukang, the UN undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs

    Sha Zukang, the UN undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, said at the four-day conference: "The voice of developing world must be heard.

    "Good and democratic internet governance is a means of achieving development for all."

    The move is expected to have significant ramifications in the Arab world, where censorship, limited content and access have led to low levels of Arabic content on the web.

    Now firms are looking to invest in opportunities in the Arab online community.

    For example, Yahoo recently bought Maktoob.com, a provider of services on the internet in Arabic.

    Yang said that his firm would begin offering its email and messenger services in Arabic next year.

    He added that currently less than one per cent of online content is in Arabic, despite there being more than 300 million Arabic speakers in the world.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.