Tags: egypt | internet | domain | arabic

Egypt Launches First Arabic Internet Domain

Sunday, 15 November 2009 10:58 PM

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Egypt's communications minister on Sunday announced the introduction of the first Arabic domain, in a step easing Internet access to millions of Arabic speakers around the world.

From midnight (2200 GMT), registration was to begin for the .misr country code top-level domain, Tarek Kamel told the fourth meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

"Now we can really say that Internet will speak Arabic," Kamel said at the opening of the four-day conference, hours before the launch.

The announcement follows a decision by the US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to end the exclusive use of Latin characters for website addresses, allowing Internet users to write an entire website address in Chinese, Arabic, Russian and several other scripts.

At present, all domain names -- the part of the website address after the dot, as in .com and .org -- end in letters from the Latin alphabet.

"The voice of developing world must be heard," Sha Zukang, the UN undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, told the Sharm el-Sheikh conference.

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Sunday, 15 November 2009 10:58 PM
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