Ajman to host first Arab bloggers forum
Ajman, June 4, 2010
The Ajman Department of Culture and Information and the General Information Authority have announced plans to host the first Arab Bloggers Forum in the emirate from June 8 to 9.
The event, being held with the support of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (Admaf) and under the umbrella of the League of Arab States, highlights the shared belief of the four parties in importance of blogging; its cultural, media and social dimensions and the important role it plays in maximising Arabic language content on the World Wide Web.
Announcing this at a press conference on Thursday, Ibrahim Said Al Thahri, director general of the Department of Culture and Information in Ajman, said, "The conference comes to demonstrate our appreciation of what Arab bloggers have achieved particularly in terms of enhancing Arabic language content on the internet and increasing the number of Arabs browsing the Internet to 60 million users."
"Arabic language blogs have invaded the web over the last few years, forming alongside international blogs a new phenomenon referred to as new media. Today there are around 75 million active blogs in various languages worldwide. It is estimated that some 120,000 blogs are created on a daily basis."
Salem Khamis Al Shair, director general of the General Information Authority, Kulthum Al Mandoos, director general of the Department for Government Communications and a representative of Admaf also took part.
The themes to be discussed at the conference will include: understanding blogging, its forms and objectives; blogs as media outlets and platforms for sharing experience, cultures, arts and literature; the current status and future of blogging in the Arab region, which is entering the digital world today, despite the disparity in internet usage across Arab countries.
While the percentage of Internet usage in the UAE, has reached 74 per cent- the highest in the region (equivalent to 3.5 million people), the rates in Bahrain, Syria, and Iran are at 55 per cent, 16 and 48 per cent respectively.
Al Thahri pointed out that the individual efforts of thousands of young Arabs on the Internet have contributed to promoting the status of Arabic language to rank seventh among those languages that are active online.
"There is no doubt that blogging has become a media, information and technical phenomenon that helps not only to spread news, reports and analyses but also to act as a forum for exchanging experience, knowledge and cultures in addition to the various social roles it plays," he added.
“Admaf is supporting this unique conference because we believe in the importance of both supporting the Arab blogging community and of the themes the conference will address," said Admaf founder Hoda Al-Khamis Kanoo in a speech that was delivered on her behalf by its spokesperson.
"The conference brings together Arab bloggers and those interested in blogging, a phenomenon that is helping to bring out the creativity of Arab youth in the fields of media, arts, literature and other areas. Our bloggers are also making a valuable contribution to enriching Arabic language content on the internet and introducing browsers worldwide to Arabic content online."
"Our involvement in this conference is a further expression of our continued commitment to support all initiatives that help to promote arts and culture and to develop creativity and innovation. Arabic blogging is a creative form of expression that reflects the values of openness to others, understanding of other cultures and contributes to building bridges of knowledge online," she noted.
"This Arab cultural forum will contribute to strengthening the mechanisms of Arab co-operation in the field of culture under the umbrella of the Arab League and driven by the UAE, inspired by the cultural vision of its wise leadership. It also establishes the concept of cognitive Arab Open Space through the Internet," she added.
Salem Khamis Al Shair called upon all those interested in blogging and reaching Arab communities online to attend the conference and contribute to its discussions.
He emphasized the key role of Arab bloggers in general and UAE bloggers in particular in establishing channels of interaction between individuals and different institutions, enabling them to identify public views about the services they provide and helping them to improve these services to better suit public interest.-TradeArabia News Service