|Weekly News Digest
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Iraqi Students Translate Internet Content Into Arabic
Olivia Cuthbert writes the following for The Guardian:
When [the] Islamic State [group] overran the Iraqi city of Mosul, human life was not the only thing in peril. Knowledge was, too.
Fortunately, Ameen al-Jaleeli understood this. He used a friend’s wifi to transfer a vast batch of Wikipedia files for offline usage. When the militants cut the cables in July 2016, he was ready. …
Jaleeli downloaded files in English because Arabic is severely underrepresented on the internet. Now that the city has been liberated from Isis, he and a team of student translators at the University of Mosul are setting about redressing that imbalance.
Together, they are making Wikipedia pages, academic articles and seminal works covering science, literature and philosophy available to Arabic speakers in attempt to confront lies with logic and pit critical thinking against propaganda and fake news.
Just 0.6% of internet content is available in Arabic, despite it being the fourth most common language among internet users. Ideas Beyond Borders (IBB), the organisation behind the House of Wisdom 2.0 translation project, plans to narrow this chasm and democratise access to knowledge for the Arab world. …
So far the organisation has added more than 2.1 million words to Arabic Wikipedia, including entries on female scientists, civil rights, religious diversity, evolution and conspiracy theories. …
For more information, read the article.
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