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Abu Dhabi firm inks Wikipedia partnership

Taghreedat's deal will bolster number of Arabic language editors at online encyclopaedia

The deal aims to increase the number of Arabic editors contributing content to Wikipedia.
The deal aims to increase the number of Arabic editors contributing content to Wikipedia.

Abu Dhabi-based online Arabic content provider firm Taghreedat has signed a joint partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation to set up courses to aim to improve the number of Arabic editors working on the web encyclopaedia.

Supported by twofour54, Abu Dhabi's government-backed media free zone, the partnership aims to set up set up courses to train internet users from the Arab world to create high quality, Arabic language content.

The inaugural workshop took place on Wednesday at twofour54's facilities in the UAE capital and Taghreedat plans to launch a Comprehensive Arabic Wikipedia Guide.

"The collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation gives us a unique opportunity to take a forward thinking approach to enriching Arabic Wikipedia content through an in depth training program with twofour54, and will help us in raising awareness about the importance of developing quality e-content to meet the rising demand across the region," said Sami Mustafa Mubarak, co-founder of Taghreedat.

"Working with twofour54 allows us access to key digital content stakeholders and volunteers which has resulted in five new Arabic e-content projects with international stakeholders since April 2012, and we look forward to more developments this year. "

Barry Newstead, Chief Global Development Officer, Wikimedia Foundation added: "The Wikimedia Foundation's Arabic language initiative focuses on supporting the development of a vibrant Arabic Wikipedia community that will enable the growth of Arabic Wikipedia as the pre-eminent free knowledge project in Arabic. We are excited about our collaboration with Taghreedat and we are looking forward to learning from the programme workshops.

"It is a promising opportunity that expands our community in UAE, and offers a model that can be further developed and applied in other countries," he continued.

Last year, a unit of Qatar Foundation announced it had signed a partnership deal to reinvigorate the Arabic content of Wikipedia.

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.

There are currently 178,000 Arabic articles on Wikipedia and an average of 76 new articles being developed each day. Despite this trend, there are only 630 active Arabic Wikipedia editors worldwide.