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Please discuss on the Village Pump.
Over 20% of Arabic speakers have Internet access, resulting in approximately 100 million users. Arabic is also the language of media, education, and commerce for many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. However, Wikimedia is under-penetrated in Arabic with less than 20,000 articles greater than 1.5KB, supported by a limited number of dedicated editors. Arabic Wikipedia development faces many challenges including the lack of tools and ability of MediaWiki to accommodate left to right writing. The goal of this task force is to develop potential growth options for further penetration of the Middle East and North Africa through Arabic-speaking Wikimedia projects. This task force will focus solely on Arabic-speaking people who have internet access. It should develop 2-4 recommendations by January 12, 2010.
The task force should develop answers to these questions to help guide their work:
- How will Internet use in the Middle East and North Africa change over the next 5 to 10 years?
- Will more non-English language speakers gain access to the Web?
- Will increases in Internet use come primarily from increases in mobile devices or computers?
- Will cell phone platforms support an Arabic interface to access the Web?
- What is the demand for Arabic Wikipedia?
- What does the online landscape for reference information in Arabic look like?
- What is the potential role of other Wikimedia projects in Arabic?
- How can Wikipedia increase participation in Arabic Wikipedia?
- How can Wikipedia increase awareness of Arabic Wikipedia?
- What tools and support are necessary to further build the contributor base for Arabic Wikipedia?
- What lessons can be learned from other successful on line Arabic language communities?
- Who is needed to support this strategy, and what do they need to do?
- (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners)
This Task Force collected some research (at Arabic) and discussed the questions above. It is currently in the process of developing recommendations.