Qatar Foundation unit set to boost Arabic Wikipedia

Qatar Computing Research Institute signs deal to increase Arabic content, editors
Qatar Foundation unit set to boost Arabic Wikipedia
By Andy Sambidge
Sun 23 Oct 2011 06:02 PM

A unit of Qatar Foundation has signed a partnership deal to reinvigorate the Arabic content of Wikipedia, the world's largest free encyclopaedia, it was reported on Sunday.

Qatar Computing Research Institute is in partnership with Wikimedia Foundation to increase the quantity and quality of online Arabic contributions, Qatar's Gulf Times said.

Dr Ahmed Elmagarmid, QCRI executive director said in comments published by the paper: “We are proud to be behind the renaissance of Arabic-language on the ubiquitous internet.

“There is broad agreement in many circles within the Arabic speaking world that the quantity and quality of Arabic content available on the internet is not meeting the needs of the close to 350m Arabic speakers worldwide,” he told the paper. 

He said with the support of Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation, it had committed resources to addressing the issue.

“We need to make it easier for Arab contributors to contribute to Arabic Wikipedia, and improve the experience for users of the content,” he was quoted as saying.

As of July, the Arabic Wikipedia comprised 150,000 articles, created and managed by some 552 active editors.

By comparison, Portuguese, a language spoken by 290m, has 693,000 articles and 1,694 active editors. 

In the first year of collaboration, the goal is to add 50,000 articles to Arabic Wikipedia and 1,000 editors.

Within three years, the goal is to grow Arabic Wikipedia to 500,000 articles.

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