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Saudi Female Students Generate Arabic & Islamic Content for Online Encyclopedia

The goal is to fill the gap of quality Arabic content available on the internet. Kudos to the hard-working women!

Hundreds of female students from King Khalid University in Saudi Arabia have been promoting Arab and Islamic content in a global online encyclopedia.

According to Arab News, almost 400 articles have been translated from English into Arabic by 365 students from King Khalid University’s department of languages and translation for use on the Wikipedia platform. 

Under the Wiki Dawwin project adopted by the King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives’ (Darah) publishing house, faculty members are supervising the work and holding remote courses. The bank of articles in now published on Wikipedia after going a thorough editorial processes.

Search engines like Google and online encyclopedias like Wikipedia lag behind when it comes to Arabic content and this is a major step towards enriching accurate articles in the Arabic language.

“The project goals are to work to bridge the gap between Saudi users of the internet and the percentage of digital content, publishing digital materials on the history of the Kingdom and rooting published materials to support Arabic content in various fields, especially educational and cultural areas,” Dr. Zuhair Al-Shehri, dean of the college of social sciences at Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University and adviser and director of the Wiki Dawwin project told Arab News. 

Partnerships with many universities and cultural bodies in the Kingdom are coming together to meet project targets as well as launch several digital enrichment programs.

Adding to that, Al-Shehri stressed on the lack of reliable Arabic content on the topics history and civilization. 

“For example, we find that in every province of Saudi Arabia an enormous balance and richness of the cultural heritage of antiquities, landmarks, experiences, and various development in all fields that need to be edited and enriched in this encyclopedia.

“Saudi Arabia’s history needs qualitative and reliable articles, along with our Arab and Islamic history. It’s an urgent need for original works in order to bridge the gap and confront trends with significant goals, and the general voluntary enrichment encouragement and motivation for all people,” he added.

The university female students also used their creativity to find new ways of generating standalone and interactive content. 

“Translation raises the level of linguistic abilities, builds bridges of cultural knowledge, and enriches interaction between Arabs and others who speak English, which is the leading global language. 

“Undoubtedly, the implementation of qualitative, reliable, and voluntary initiatives such as the Wiki Dawwin project, launched by educational and cultural institutions such as universities, contributes to achieving this reliability," Al-Shehri added to Arab News

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