x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Wikipedia mulls Middle East Arabic offering

Wikipedia says it is "very likely" that it will open an office in the Arab world, with Egypt or Jordan likely locations.

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, speaks at the Tijuana Innovadora 2010 Speaker Series in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Wales won the 2011 Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize worth 100,000 Swiss Francs ($104,000) for democratising the access to knowledge through Wikipedia. Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, speaks at the Tijuana Innovadora 2010 Speaker Series in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Wales won the 2011 Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize worth 100,000 Swiss Francs ($104,000) for democratising the access to knowledge through Wikipedia. Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Jimmy Wales

Wikipedia is planning to open an office in the Middle East and North Africa region in an attempt to boost the number of Arabic-language contributions to the site.

Jimmy Wales, the founder of the online encyclopedia, says that Egypt and Jordan are the most likely places in which it may form a presence.

Wikipedia will this year open an office in India, its first operation outside the US.

Mr Wales said it is "very likely" that the online encyclopedia will launch a presence in the Arab world, with a "fifty fifty chance" that this will be the next office to open after India.

"We very likely would be opening an office somewhere in the Arab world," said Mr Wales. "The goal is to really increase the total content in Arabic and the participation of people in the region."

bflanagan@thenational.ae

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