September 1, 2019 11

Towards more and better Arabic online content: Wlaa Isam at TEDxSanaa 2013

Towards more and better Arabic online content: Wlaa Isam at TEDxSanaa 2013

Translator: Ammar Alqatari
Reviewer: Sharaf Alkibsi When five major Arab countries
instigate large and angry revolutions in almost one year and thousands get killed or injured and governments fall and get replaced
by other governments, these relied… (Applause) These revolutions relied generally
on mobilizing people through the Internet and social networks especially,
like Facebook and Twitter. So it’s very natural
for Arabic content on the Internet to experience an uprising since the Internet is
the source of Arab revolutions which contributed to liberating countries and through which young Arabs
were able to prove they are at a high level of social
and intellectual communication, a level which parallels the Western world
and possibly exceeds it in some countries. Your expectations for the percentage
of Arabic content on the Internet? 10%? 20%? 60%? There is only a 3%
of Arabic content on the Internet. This is a modest and a shy number. It seems that we Arabs
have mastered low percentages worldwide except in one case: during elections, we get 99.99%. (Applause) All studies and statistics that come
to us through Internet sites can be described as both
promising and scary. In reality, all statistics show
that the number of Internet users in the Middle East and North Africa
is constantly increasing. This time the thanks go to the spark of the Arab revolutions,
the social networks like Facebook and Twitter, the first asylum for Arab youth
in all its formative and social classes, and which have contributed
in creating a boom, in increasing the number
of Arabic users on the Internet. It is estimated that the total number
of Facebook users is about 44 million, according to a study released
last November and performed by the specialized website Social Baker. It’s very clear the number of Arab users of the internet is much greater
than that number. That’s because the study
only included active accounts, i.e. it excluded all accounts made for
purposes of entertainment and socializing. Facts: according to the study, 21 people sign up
for Facebook every minute. If we take this number
and multiply it by 60, or an hour, we get 1,260 people. You do the rest of the math. The following figure shows the age distribution
of most active users of the Internet. It’s very clear that the age group
between 18 and 24 years is the group most present
and active on the Internet. The geographic distribution of Arab users
of the Internet from this study shows that Yemen, Palestine, and Bahrain have
gained the least share in the study. As I’ve described them before,
scary and promising numbers. Promising because it shows that Arab youth are hungry for getting
information in their native language. And scary because it show
the necessity of improving Arabic content on the Internet
at a very fast rate; maybe very fast to accommodate
the demand of Arabic speakers from the ocean to the Gulf. It is suffering. A note: The purpose of this study is to show you the Arabic person
doesn’t only use the Internet for social and entertainment
purposes as we all suspect, but there are certainly millions of people
from many fields and with many interests who resort to the Internet
as a main source, or maybe even the only one,
to get information. It is suffering. Real suffering that’ll be felt
by whoever experiences this. Imagine this with me: After hours of painful search
on the Internet or looking for a serious topic
in Arabic on the Internet, is certainly like looking
for a needle in stacks of hay and not just one haystack. Real suffering that will be felt
by whoever experiences this. After hours of painstaking
search on the Internet, you find many links with colorful pages, full of hearts and flowers. Probably carrying one of the usual names: Eyes of the Heart. (Laughter) Purity of the Soul. (Laughter) The Coast of Lovers. (Laughter) [Eden nights]. (Laughter) (Applause) Yes, even “Nights of Aden.” What’s even more spiteful
is that these sites prevents you from viewing the content and persists that you sign up
for that website or forum. And after going through
the sign-up process, you get merely a few lines that don’t feed or satisfy
writing in a weak language that shows that the writer himself
barely knows what he’s writing about. Looking at the site comments, who can only be described as anonymous, “Cheeeeeeers”, “Thanks”, “Appreciated”, and “a really important subject”. (Applause) Imagine. There is a great inadequacy
in Arabic content on the Internet. Poor content, or even lower
than the poverty line. Among the reasons of this
content poverty on the Internet is a great inadequacy
in developing the content. Many youth place the responsibility of developing Arabic content on the governments. However, it is the responsibility
of the Arab youth to developing their Arabic content. The bigger problem, from my point of view, is getting rid of Arabish, as in writing Arabic with Arabic letters. For example, “Salam Alaikum” is written like this, “Alaikum alsalam” like wise. Imagine with me. The fifth language among 6,500 languages. 360 million speakers
from around the world, and the result is merely 3%. Clearly there is a gap
between the amount of Arabic content and type of Arabic content. The central problem lies in the rate of Arabic users online compared to the modest and sky content. Arabic content strength points are: it is full of news and scandals
of artist and celebrities, soccer players news, and traditional food recipes. This is the best. What is the future of education? Before discussing the solutions, I’ve tried several times to know the base source of education. The answer every time was school. If we wanted to define school
in a simple and easy way: It is a machine that produces
identical humans so that if one was sent
from one country to another, that person would be capable
of production and interaction. (Applause) By identical I mean reading, writing, and performing arithmetic. We no longer need this type of education. Let me prove– (Applause) Let me prove to you more. Before, when a certain job
was advertised, a good handwriting was required. In fact, there is no good reason why a person needed
good handwriting to get that job, except for one reason, data was archived manually. The same for arithmetic operations. We don’t need someone who
performs arithemetic professionally. As for reading, it is very important. What is the solution? There are many solutions to enrich
the Arabic content generally, and the Yemeni content in particular. But I will point to the main solution
from my point of view. It is establishing
an academy on the cloud. The idea, simply, is about space that aims to liberate knowledge
from its traditional form. by creating innovative videos
by those who love knowledge. The cloud academy philosophy
relies on open systems. which flourish through user contributions. Here comes the importance
of sharing knowledge with those around us to improve lives. By encouraging the culture of sharing among cities, villages,
and even less fortunate places through delegations in schools, universities, charities, and even youth interested in education, Those who care about presenting
educational material through atypical methods. My activities in Aden
in promoting open education. At the beginning the idea started
when I gave seminars and cut from my vacations or weekends to give free seminars every Thursday. Then it developed to establishing
courses in Ramadan or technical Ramadanic courses. Then it developed more to an annual event under the name
of the “Open Education Day”, and the result was 1,030 people targeted to spreading the idea of open education. (Applause) My activity on the Internet to enrich Arabic content in particular – of course this picture shows
the Open Education Day – more than 850 articles on the Internet, and more than 200 high quality
videos on the Internet. The result was more than 100,000 hours
spent on my channel on YouTube. (Applause) The goal is the inclusion of society and making it an essential partner in solving the problems
of learning and education. And escaping the consumerist
mindset of Arabic content to a productive mindset. And encouraging Arab youth
on reading and writing in Arabic to enrich Arabic
Internet content for free. Thank you. (Applause)

11 Replies to “Towards more and better Arabic online content: Wlaa Isam at TEDxSanaa 2013”

  • شو مي تيوب Show me tube says:

    فعلا المهندس ولاء عصام يستحق كل أحترام وتقدير ومن المبدعين العرب 🙂

  • الجوهره محمد says:

    حديث رائع، شكراً جزيلاً لك ولاء! 
    نحو مستقبل محتوى عربي أفضل بإذن الله! 

  • Hassan Rashid says:

    أرفع لك القبعة

  • Ali Ghaleb says:

    رائع يا ولاء .. لك كل التحية و التقدير!

  • Ashraf ASTAL says:

    كل التحية والتقدير لهذا الجهد الطيب مهندس ولاء …

  • Sharaf Azzain says:


  • Omer Shami says:

    الله عليك يامهندس ولاء عصام تستاهل عدن كريتر الخساف ابطال مثلك استمر يابن حافتي واتمنا لك النجاح الدائم

  • Dahman foudili says:

    good man

  • Ashraf Fathallah says:

    شخص محترم ومٌحب للعرب والله يوفقك 

  • Md Momin says:

    Hi! Thank you for this useful video. By the way, I hear lots of people keep on talking about Rocelangue Method (search on google), but I'm not sure if it is good. Have you ever tried this how to speak foreign language tutorial called Rocelangue Method? I've heard several amazing things about it.

  • MD Khalid says:

    Hey There! Thanks for this useful video. By the way, I hear a lot of people keep on talking about Rocelangue Method (do a search on google), but I'm not sure if it's good. Have you thought about this how to speak & learn language tutorial known as Rocelangue Method? I've heard many great things about it.

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