Monday, November 16, 2009

Egypt launches Arabic web domain

This morning BBC announces the following:

Egypt will open the world's first Arabic language internet domain, its communications minister has said.

Tarek Kamel said the new domain name would be ".masr" written in the Arabic alphabet. It translates as ".Egypt".

"It is a great moment for us... The internet now speaks Arabic," Mr Kamel said.

Last month, internet regulator Icann voted to allow non-Latin web addresses. Domain names can now be written in Arabic, Chinese and other scripts.

Mr Kamel, who was speaking at the start of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) being held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, said a formal announcement would be made on Monday.

Registration for addresses with the .masr ending would begin at midnight (2200 GMT), he said.

He said the new domain would "offer new avenues for innovation, investment and growth" in the Arabic-speaking world.

Egypt currently has 15 million internet users out of a total population of 80 million.
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