Arabic Script IDNs: Challenges and Solution

18 November 2009 - A Workshop on Critical Internet Resources in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt


The workshop aims at discussing:
o The need and importance of cooperation & collaboration among the different language communities sharing the same language/script, 
o The approach followed by ASIWG in problem solving,
o Policy considerations and criteria set by ASIWG for decision-making, 
o Technical challenges and possible solutions, as well as 
o Outreach to other Arabic-script-based languages
The Arabic Script IDN Working Group (ASIWG) is a self-organizing group that consists of parties interested in the implementation of Arabic script in Internationalized Domain Names. The group, so far, discusses Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Sindhi and Jawi languages with representation from gTLD registries, ccTLD registries, technical and academic experts as well as representatives of different relevant organizations. 
ASIWG’s main objectives are: 
o Developing a common Arabic script table, 
o Compiling the Arabic script variant table(s) across Arabic-script-based languages, and
o Providing recommendations with regards to the use of Arabic script in IDN ccTLDs as well as IDN gTLDs. 

In addition, we anticipate merging segments from the following three workshop proposals to whom we have suggested mergers:
#118: Promoting Cultural Diversity through Cultural Heritage (CH) in Cyber Space (Proposer: Hind Mostafa)
#223: Arabic Content Development: Challenges and Solutions (Proposer: Anas Tawileh)
#137: The Use of Internet in the Arab Region: Prospects & the Future (Proposer: Hanane Boujemi)

We have also performed outreach with Donatella Della Ratta from Creative Commons regarding common themes in their proposal "Arabisation of the web". Their proposal is more linked to content, while ours is about making the fundamental of Arabic script work on the Internet - which is a huge unsolved area that our Working Group is focused on.